What is the impact of Sun4All?
21 February 2023
In Europe, 8% of the population are not able to keep their home adequately warm. This proportion even represents 11% of the population in Italy and more than 17% in Portugal (source: Eurostat). The Sun4All project contributes by different means to a socially just energy transition. One of them is an effort to further our understanding of how to detect energy poverty in Europe, and how to alleviate it. The Impact Assessment actively contributes to that objective.
Conducted by the University of Stavanger (Norway), with the help of all the other members of the Sun4All consortium, the objective of the Impact Assessment is to evaluate the project's three main impacts:
- its contribution to tackle energy poverty
- its capacity to facilitate behavioural change amongst participating households
- and its contribution to the empowerment of participating households.
To do so, it includes two questionnaires, the first distributed to households at the start of the project's implementation and the second after several months of implementation. Qualitative interviews with participating households are also planned. Finally, to contextualize this data, public statistics on energy vulnerability in each pilot's context are being gathered.
The first questionnaire is currently being distributed by the pilot project partners. The University of Stavanger will soon be able to analyze the data and provide a first insight into the socio-economic characteristics of participating households and the difficulties they face. The University of Stavanger will provide the pilots with regular updates on the data analysis. This will facilitate improvements throughout the project's duration. Pilots might for instance be able to refine their engagement strategies if required.
Interviews are also undergoing. The first four interviews with participating households have been conducted in the Communauté de Communes Cœur de Savoie (FR) in January. These were very important to gain a more fine-grained understanding of who the beneficiaries of Sun4All are and the difficulties that they encounter daily to heat, cool, or light their homes. For instance, two interviewees declared that they did not turn on the lamps in the evening, using their television as the only source of light. The next round of interviews in Almada (PT) in June are also expected to provide insightful information.
Ongoing throughout the three years of the project, the Impact Assessment will be completed in the final months of the Sun4All project. The data collected through the questionnaires and the interviews will demonstrate the societal value of Sun4All and help give a nuanced picture of the impacts of the project to facilitate replicability. The Impact Assessment will also contribute further our understanding of energy poverty in varied European contexts. Several scientific publications are planned, which will be submitted to leading journals. They will contribute to the scientific knowledge on energy poverty in Europe and provide policy recommendations beyond the case of Sun4All.
Article written by Bérénice Girard, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Stavanger, Norway
Image (engin akyurt on Unsplash)