A program of action in line with the National Strategy against Energy Poverty 2019-2024. This plan presented by the central government to help people who need it and comply with the Energy Laws points to energy rehabilitation as one of the relevant actions to reduce vulnerability.
Improved insulation of doors and windows significantly increases the energy efficiency of homes. Photos: Naturgy
In developed countries, such as ours, social inequality is the order of the day. Unfortunately, thousands of people suffer everyday in our country to meet basic needs such as food or pay bills for basic goods such as water or electricity. The latter is what we call poverty or energy vulnerability, one of the most dramatic facet of society that has escalated since the Covid-19 crisis.
There are social programs but they are carried out by large corporations whose objective is to help families that find themselves in this situation. This is the case of Naturgy who launched a vulnerability plan in 2017 to combat this energy poverty.
Since its founding, more than 90,000 people have benefitted from the social programs of its foundation, aimed at clients and non-clients of the company. These are actions divided into three core actions: the Solidarity Fund for Energy Rehabilitation, the School of Energy and Energy – Volunteering.
In all of them, the Foundation works with social organizations and municipalities, which are those that have contact directly with vulnerable families and those who best understand their needs. The collaboration with these entities brings much more value to all our programs to fight energy vulnerability”, explains Mara Eugenia Coronado, general director of the Naturgy Foundation.
Express works in needy homes.
The Energy Rehabilitation Fund, which is about to become two years old, undertakes urgent work and replaces appliances in homes of people in vulnerable situations to improve energy efficiency. The goal is to perform low-cost works, which the Foundation assumes and which allow families to lower their energy bills without losing quality of life at home.
More than a thousand families have already benefitted from these rehabilitations. A program of action aligned with the National Strategy against energy poverty 2019-2024 This plan put forward by the central government to help people who need it and comply with energy laws points to energy rehabilitation as one of the relevant actions to reduce vulnerability.
Small gestures such as fixing doors and windows that are easily closing, replacing old light bulbs with LEDs, repairing boilers and improving electrical or gas installations make a difference.
More than 1000 volunteers have participated in the project.
In this sense, counseling is critical for families on their situation of energy vulnerability and solution solutions. For this reason the Naturgy Foundation has a second building in which nearly 1,100 volunteers participated last year.
They were able to care for over 4,000 vulnerable families in seven countries and spent 6,600 hours of work. A work of support, advice and assistance that was conducted in person before the pandemic and that the Naturgy Foundation transformed into a work of continuing to do it remotely.
Last year also volunteers conducted training workshops on sustainability and saving at an audience of 900 children and young people.
A school to encourage efficient consumption
And is that education is one of the keys to fight against energy vulnerability. The school of energy of the Naturgy Foundation is therefore of great assistance in alleviating the problems arising from energy poverty.
Its instructors have already visited more than 650 municipalities across Spain and their workshops have been attended by over 20,000 people, mostly vulnerable families. After the strike during confinement, the Naturgy Foundation begins to resume these sessions and will adopt all the security measures necessary by the pandemic.
In the workshops of the School of Energy Issues on energy efficiency or optimisation of the bills are focusing on energy efficiency. Of course those who can have access to the social bonus are identified and they are helpled to demand it. The goal is to empower the most vulnerable people so that they can minimize the impact of energy costs by applying the measures and advice outlined in the workshops. So says Ester Sevilla, director of the Social Projects area at the Foundation Naturgy.
Public benefit professionals are also subject of these trainings at the School of Energy. For them, the Foundation offers webinars to explain, among others, the new regulatory rules in the energy fields or how to better manage the energy bill.