Background to the programme
This program originated in analyses carried out by EDF. In effect, employees in the social arm of EDF noticed that some clients were finding it difficult to pay, that they lacked information on economic possibilities and everyday savings that could be made. Sharing this report, EDF and PIMMS decided to develop a program to fight against energy insecurity.
Objectives of the programme
- To create a social link.
- To fight against isolation.
- To accompany and guide excluded people towards social work.
- To maintain the energy.
- To enable access to and support the rights of people in difficulty.
Each week the social arm of EDF sends PIMMS a list of client references of peoples said to be "fragile". This list has on average 40 clients each week. Further to this list, the mediators of PIMMS take charge of contacting these people and propose solutions to them to prevent debt, to maintain energy in the home and to consume responsibly in order to make energy savings. In order to ensure this, the mediators set up delays in paymetns, a repayment schedule and advice on eco-gestures. If necessary, the clients are put in contact with a social assistant in order to benefit from financial aid such as the Social Housing Fund (FSL).
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
In 2013, thanks to PIMMS actions:
- 1662 energy support actions have been enabled.
- 510 people have been made aware of how to control their energy usage.
- 1004 information packs distributed on social electricity tariffs.
The principal innovative characteristic of this program is the semi-private, semi-public partnership between the organisations. The PIMMS mediators play the role of neutral intermediary between the "fragile" clients, the business partner and the different local social services.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
For this program, PIMMS is in partnership with EDF who are in an historic partnerships with the National Union of PIMMS.
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- Making contact with the "clients" as telephone numbers change.
- To make sure the beneficiaries understand the role of the PIMMS mediators and the help they can give.
- The language barrier: many foreigners are affected by the problem of insecure energy.
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
- To try to facilitate contact by having counsellors who speak another language.
- Introduce the project properly on the phone to make it clear that PIMMS is not an EDF service, nor a social service but a neutral intermediary.
Suggestions for future improvement :
The principal improvement concerns PIMMS's reputation which facilitates contact and exchanges with the beneficiaries.
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- To be credible.
- To have efficient tools.
- The competence of mediators: interpersonal skills, know how and confidence.