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Citizen-led renovation
News article22 November 2023Directorate-General for Energy

15th Citizens' Energy Forum: Moving towards a people-centred energy system

The Citizen-led renovation Initiative attended the 15th Citizens' Energy Forum organised by the European Commission and moderated a breakout session.

Diana Süsser moderates breakout session 3.
Diana Süsser moderates breakout session 3.

This year's edition of the Forum focused on middle- and low-income consumers and the solutions they can access or implement. It brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including citizens' groups, NGOs, businesses as well as policy makers. In various sessions, participants discussed what is needed to move towards a people-centred energy system.

Diana Süsser, Senior Expert at the Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy (IEECP), moderated the breakout session on "Reducing our dependence on natural gas: Improving the energy performance of European households". The session featured two great presentations: Firstly, Gerard O'Halloran presented the collaboration between three sustainable energy communities in Dublin to promote citizen-led energy retrofits. Triple SEC consists of Connecting Cabra, Cosybatter & Phibsboro and is currently supported by the Citizen-led Renovation Initiative. Secondly, Petra Cakovska presented the S.O.S. project, where they have initiated campaigns for collective purchasing of solar PV and heat pumps.

Gerard O'Halloran presents the Triple SEC collaboration.
Gerard O'Halloran presents the Triple SEC collaboration.
Petra Cakovska presents the S.O.S. project.
Petra Cakovska presents the S.O.S. project.

The discussion that followed was very lively and both projects were highly appreciated. Some important conclusions can be drawn from the discussion:

  • Supporting citizens and communities is key. They need the right tools, training and programmes to take action. Funded community project managers could help communities, for example, to drive forward citizen-led regeneration.
  • Collective procurement can save money and reduce the administrative burden on individuals.
  • Financial incentives are important to motivate people to carry out renovations and switch to alternative heating solutions. For example, replacing gas boilers with heat pumps is not always economically viable, as the example from Slovakia shows.
  • Communities are diverse and we need to meet people where they are. It is vital to identify people's different energy vulnerabilities and develop appropriate interventions.
  • There are many great pilots and initiatives across Europe. Now we need to scale them up and share knowledge across Europe and beyond.

 

Summary from the breakout sessions.
Summary from the breakout sessions.
Gerard O'Halloran from Connecting Cabra shares feedback in the final session.
Gerard O'Halloran from Connecting Cabra shares feedback in the final session.

Details

Publication date
22 November 2023
Author
Directorate-General for Energy