In collaboration with seven partners, TNO conducted research into the measures that can best help lower-income households to reduce their energy bills. It is estimated that over 750,000 households in the Netherlands have difficulty paying their energy bills on a monthly basis.
Effectiveness of projects investigated
TNO has investigated the effectiveness of 5 research partner projects. Based on this, an inventory has been made of what works. With the results and recommendations of the study, organisations involved in combating energy poverty can take targeted measures to allow lower income households to save energy and thereby reduce their energy bills.
Looking for measures that really lead to energy savings
An increasing number of organisations, such as energy companies, municipalities and welfare organisations, are involved in combating energy poverty, for example by providing information and advice, offering energy-saving materials or new services that can help to save energy. Our research provides more clarity on how low-income households can best be helped to save energy.
The research shows that the 'target group' living in energy poverty consists of different groups, such as separated families, elderly people living on a minimum income, or people with mental or health problems. Within these different groups many households can be found that are motivated to save; people want to learn and improve their own situation and while there is a lot of advice that is suitable for this, much of it is unknown to the target groups. Savings of 100 euros per year are no exception.
But preparing and giving energy advice is professional work; informing and motivating people to change their behaviour is not easy, especially when residents are in a difficult situation. Sometimes people don't have the space and peace in their lives to understand the advice or to put it into practice. However, with targeted tips, multiple visits to a household, good timing and some social engagement, energy advice can help fight energy poverty, and help people who are in a difficult position