Distributors

Energy Efficiency Critical to Reducing Energy Poverty

In a training webinar on the nexus of energy efficiency and energy access, hosted May 18th by the United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network in partnership with the Rexel Foundation and the Clean Energy Solutions Center, leading experts said that scaling energy efficiency is the critical first step toward closing residual energy access gaps, lowering energy bills, reducing energy consumption, and influencing a change in ‘energy’ behaviors.

Fuel poverty—or energy poverty—is becoming an increasingly serious issue in developed economies, with currently one household in seven in Europe in or on the margins of fuel poverty, creating significant financial, social, societal and health problems. Solving this issue will require the collective involvement of various stakeholders, including energy service providers and companies, NGOs, and local or national governments, bringing specific expertise to the table.

Reid Detchon, Vice-President for Energy & Climate Strategy, United Nations Foundation, said: “Energy efficiency reduces the cost of energy services to the consumer anywhere in the world. Whether in a rural village far from the electric grid served by entrepreneurs selling prepaid access to solar power, or in a low-income neighborhood of a wealthy city served by a giant electric utility, the first step toward affordable energy is making it go further through greater efficiency.”

Pascale Giet, Vice-Chairman of the Rexel Foundation for a better energy future said: “Rexel and its Foundation for a Better Energy Future are working day-in and day-out to bring concrete responses to the fuel poverty challenge. We have observed that user behavior is paramount to curb energy consumption. Education, advice and support as well as the adoption of the right equipment can make the difference. Working with social entrepreneurs in the field allows us to combine our strengths and accelerate our mission and significantly drive a positive social impact.”

Jules Kortenhorst, Chief Executive Officer of the Rocky Mountain Institute, added: “The costs of energy, low performance homes, and climate change have and will continue to affect very low-, low-, and moderate-income families the hardest. These families also have less time to figure out how to take action to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. With this in mind, the Rocky Mountain Institute is working on several fronts, from partnering with utilities to organizing change Labs for new ideas to emerge or through its RMI’s Residential Energy+ initiative. With this initiative, the RMI is working with industry leaders to increase access to higher quality, resilient, and energy-efficient affordable housing by making home energy upgrades understandable and conversational; simplifying the investment process to empower families to adopt energy upgrades; and unlocking opportunities.”

Patty Fong, Programme Director for Energy Efficiency at the European Climate Foundation, said: “Home energy efficiency upgrades is the most economically sustainable solution for addressing fuel poverty in Europe. Large-scale energy renovation requires a multi-stakeholder alliance to foster awareness of the tangible benefits and build broad political support for action.  It also requires concerted coordination of the building sector value chain and innovative, industrialized approaches to increase affordability and accessibility.”

Participants who attended the webinar had a chance to interact with the experts detailing their respective organizations’ experience and collective best practices in the nexus of energy efficiency, fuel poverty and energy access. The presentations from the webinar as well as a full recording are available at: https://cleanenergysolutions.org/training/fighting-fuel-poverty-in-developed-economies.

 

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