ASSIST project against energy poverty
In recent years, energy users have gained more rights with the transposition of relevant European energy legislation. There is nevertheless the recognition that consumers’ rights (with special reference to vulnerable consumers and fuel poor) need to be further strengthened, and that the increasing market complexity needs to be addressed through concrete solutions to improve levels of empowerment and engagement.
ASSIST offers a two-way approach to the problem: active engaging of consumers in the energy market, and a positive change of behaviour in relation to energy consumption and to influence design of policy at all levels to tackle fuel poverty issues. It will do so by:
- Creating unique and specialized services for the vulnerable communities through a network of trained active Vulnerable Consumer Energy Advisors (VCEA).
- Increasing the knowledge of political stakeholders on consumers’ vulnerability and energy poverty so as to promote the design-take up of policies to tackle the phenomena.
The starting point of the project, launched on May 1, is the generation of in depth knowledge on consumer vulnerability and more specifically on energy poverty, as there is still no clear and unique definition for the identification and measuring of energy poverty as well as low knowledge on the phenomena and on possible solutions to tackle it. ASSIST's common methodology has been discussed and agreed by all partners during the kick-off meeting, held in Rome on May 15-16.
On its first phase, it will generate in depth knowledge on consumer vulnerability and more specifically on energy poverty, as there is still no clear and unique definition for the identification and measuring of energy poverty as well as low knowledge on the phenomena and on possible solutions to tackle it.
Through the ASSIST portal site the project will be made public to the main actors of the sectors involved in the energy sector and in the tackling of energy poverty and vulnerability all around Europe.
The ASSIST website will be a key tool for gathering all of the project resources. Three of the most relevant ones are the E-learning platform, Home Energy Agents (HEA) network ICT system and the vulnerable consumer’s virtual community, which will be accessible from the portal.
The website www.assist2gether.eu, which describes the ASSIST project objectives and consortium, its news and activities and the opportunities of contribution, was launched on October 30th and is now fully available in six languages: English, Finnish, Italian, Dutch, Polish and Spanish.
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