Tackling energy poverty: Insights from the first webinar on energy communities

11 June 2024

Tackling energy poverty: Insights from the first webinar on energy communities

The first webinar on combating energy poverty through national-level energy communities brought together experts to share their practical experiences. Organised by Irma Soldevilla, Project Director at ALEB, the session featured projects like the Sun4All pilot in Barcelona as well as the Sun4All Community of Practice members Energía Bonita, Tonenca Energy Community, Valencia Clima i Energía, and the Municipality of Salt.

The webinar addressed various challenges and recommendations put forward by energy communities. Challenges include inadequate legislation, slow implementation, lack of European directive transposition, complex coordination among actors in the energy system, reluctance from social services, economic barriers (funding issues, market complexity), as well as the difficulty to encouraging participation from vulnerable groups and managing energy sharing between vulnerable members.

To overcome the challenges faced by energy communities, webinar participants highlighted the need for clear, tailored regulations and faster implementation of laws on collective self-consumption. Recognising energy communities as entities of general interest could draw essential public support and aid. Streamlined administrative processes and enhanced coordination among actors are critical for operational efficiency. Providing close support during transitional phases will help integrate energy community initiatives smoothly. Increased public aid and diverse funding sources are essential for including vulnerable families, while effective engagement with social services and simplified processes will boost participation from local actors and vulnerable groups. Innovative administrative models that integrate new projects into local authorities' daily operations are necessary for cohesive energy management.

The webinar underscored the essential role of energy communities in addressing energy poverty. By sharing practical experiences and identifying key challenges and solutions, the session highlighted the need for tailored legislative frameworks, streamlined administrative processes, increased economic support, and effective public engagement strategies. Implementing these recommendations can significantly advance efforts to combat energy poverty, paving the way for inclusive and sustainable energy solutions at the national level.

Image (Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash)

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European Union

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°101032239.