EMPOWERMED – Fighting Energy Poverty

Our German office has started to work on a project combatting energy poverty in Europe, joined by many of our European partners. The Horizon 2020 project EmpowerMed has a clear goal:  „Empowering women to take action against energy poverty in the Mediterranean“.

More than 50 million households in the European Union suffering from energy poverty, this means they, for example, have trouble heating or cooling their houses, paying electricity bills or are living in housing with mold or humidity. Thankfully, EU institutions have indicated energy poverty as a policy priority nevertheless, these lack effectiveness in certain areas. According to experts, cooling and temperature control, the increased exposure of energy poverty for women and the connection between energy poverty and health are not adequately taken into account.

Although, energy poverty is an issue all over the EU, Southern and Eastern European countries are facing these issues more frequently and heavier. This can be explained by their economic situation, quality of buildings and their hot summers which require cooling and temperature control inside. The EmpowerMed Project focusses on this geographic area. Joined by other NGOs, universities and research institutes from Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Italy, Spain and France, we implement practical solutions for households affected by energy poverty. We give them the opportunity to plan their energy consumption better and provide access to affordable and renewable energy sources. Our initiatives include awareness-raising, implementing of energy-efficient solutions, establishing energy cooperatives and empowering women who are fighting to reduce energy poverty and improve the health situation of their housing and communities. Lastly, we will, in cooperation with experts and those affected, formulate policy recommendations for local, national and EU politicians.

This Horizon2020 project will run for 4 years. We will bring in our gender expertise, our experience with renewable energy solutions and environmental health issues. Horizon 2020 is a transnational program for research and innovation that sets out to tackle social challenges. Horizon2020 is funded by the EU.