Facts and Figures
Energy-Savings Check for Households with Low Income . An initiative by the German Caritas Association
Energy-Savings Check for Households with Low Income
who receive social benefits.
There are more than 8 m. people who receive social benefits in Germany. In many cases, there is little or no knowledge about
energy and water saving and little motivation to do so. Only few people have the means to buy energy saving equipment (energy
saving bulbs, A++ refrigerators, …). On the other hand energy prices rise steadily, but the amount for electricity included
in social welfare does not rise accordingly.
The project energy savings checks offers non-obligatory advice for people who otherwise have little to do with issues like energy saving and environmental protection. Each consultation is individually tailored to the customer‘s consumption of electricity, water and heating.
The project is maintained by German Caritas Association on national level with German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature and German Federal Association of Energy and Climate Protection Agencies (eaD) as strong partners. Betweeen December 2008 and July 2010 there were more than 32.100 energy savings checks which saved an ammount of 75.907 t of CO2.
What does the project do?
The energy savings check helps low income households to learn how to reduce their energy consumption and thus relieve their
tight budgets. Each participating household receives a complete measuring of all energy and water consuming devices as well
as a detailed report. They also receive hardware (energy saving bulbs, watersaving shower heads, etc.) due to the results
of the individual report and worth up to 70 €.
Long-term unemployed people are qualified into energy- and water-saving consultants, going through a specially designed training programme. The consultants also experience personal skills development, eg. communications and teamwork and are integrated into PR-activities presenting the project and informing the target group
What are the role and the tasks of the local projects
- Finding, selecting and preparing the participants (consultants): more than 1,200 were trained since Dec. 2008
more than 800 are currently working
- Care for and support of participants: support their personal development integrate them into regular jobs on the labour market
- Organize trainings: communications, computer, personal skills development
- Building-up of local networks: community, job centres, social welfare agencies, companies, environmental actors, clubs, churches, etc.
- Organize financial backup through local networks
- Plan visits to households, organize supply of energy and water saving devices
- Realize public relations activities with the media
- Develop a medium- and long-term perspective for each project – financially as well as in term of local and regional acceptance
- Caritas as a welfare organisation is independent and trustable. -> energy-savings check inside people’s house is regarded as help and not as control
- The energy checking experts once were part of the target group -> consultancy “at eye level”
- Win-win-situation – households local community + environment profit -> the municipality is more likely to support the project.
- New structures of cooperation: -> social services (such as job centres, social departments, welfare organisations) cooperate with environmental institutions (city energy department, energy agencies, energy supply companies, …)
- Free of charge installation of high value energy and/or water saving devices as well as information on „what you can do“ directly IN the household
- The “Energy Savings Check” is regarded a socialas well as an ecological offer -> priority is given to a combination of saving money + protecting the environment