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Understanding fuel poverty situations better to treat them better

Summary : This project is fully integrated in the framework of the "fight against energy poverty." As such, it is characterised by a shared desire to implement appropriate initiatives that allow the treatment of housing through supported actions from the occupiers, as well as the owners, with the use of mediation.

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  • Start date : June 2014
  • Implementation site : Provence Verte and Haut Var Verdon
  • Budget : 80000 €


  • Compagnons Bâtisseurs Provence
  • 7 rue Edouard Pons
  • 13006 Marseilles
  • Employees : 32
  • Volunteers : 23
  • Members : 135


Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  08/09/2014
Solution(s) : Fuel poverty
Country :  France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Stature of the programme :  Local
Participant :  Association, ONG
  • Beneficiaries :  Universal
  • Domain :  Citizen participation, Housing, Energy, Education, Training

Reports collected as part of the RESOLIS programme « Energy Poverty »

Copyright: Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
To reference a document published by RESOLIS : Vallette Christine , « Understanding fuel poverty situations better to treat them better », **Journal RESOLIS** (2014)

Background to the programme

Improving comfort and the energy efficiency of housing, the integration of the principles of sustainable development in renovation projects and the problem of households' behaviour, have become major challenges for Compagnons Bâtisseurs Provence (Building Companions of Provence (CBP)) who want to find concrete solutions in their professional practice when supporting households with technical, social and educational issues. To do this, we have led an experimental action in the Provence Verte territory for 2 years (see the report "consume better to consume less" http://resolis.org/fiche-pratique/consommer-mieux-pour-consommer-moins-vers-une-consommation-energetique-responsable-et-citoyenne/342). This action has proved to be suitable but has also revealed the need for support which, until then, had not been identified.

3 observations underline the needs in the territory for this type of approach:
• An identification process which is exploding and is a clear sign: needs that are extensive and not covered by the common law process. In fact, the entirety of supported situations would not have been resolved by the PIG put in place.
• The needs identified from the point of view of social workers in terms of training in "eye power" but also the need for support in making practical changes to break the "aid" spiral.
• Tenants "forgotten by the common law"

Objectives of the programme

The objective of this project is threefold: education and information, assessment and definition of recommendations, and the implementation of the recommendations as part of a participatory process with the inhabitants:
• Inform persons in situations of default on the issue of energy and train them in identifying the points of waste in their house, to enable them to understand the situation and its impacts, to make make energy poverty "visible" along with its consequences on daily life;
• Provide expertise and understanding concerning the situations identified, to enable understanding of the cause of demand for aid, to refine understanding of energy poverty situations,
• To provide an appropriate response to families concerning the management of their consumption through three methods of intervention: the mediations enables interventions of the relevant framework of landlord obligations, or the support for Occupying Owners in poverty; the daily gestures; and the relevant technical interventions on the homes and the equipment

Long-term goal: to enable the adjustment of the aid from the General Council and the offers of social support to the actual problem using clear assessments and a suitable focus. So if a family is in an inefficient house, the assessment will be able to highlight the impotence of curative aid by itself.
2 Types of work: firstly the implementation of mediation aimed at the property landlord and, in parallel, support with the objective of achieving less energy inefficient housing. It will also address the issue of residency but if the family is in the previous situation without residency or usage issues concerning the house, it is pointless to aim for a collective dimension on eco gestures. The family will have an adapted solution and will not be directed towards a solution that they did not find for themselves and which can have the effect of discouraging them from their own solution.
This project will also help build a partnership with the municipalities in the territory in order to get them to grasp hold of the project and ensure its sustainability, both technically and financially

Implemented actions

- The work of identifying situations concerning energy poverty: building partnerships (meetings with local actors, meeting elected officials, setting up public meetings, education of social workers by setting up training sessions in "eye energy "... ), education of families through group workshops built around the resources and knowledge of the inhabitants ("eye energy"), mobilisation of people networks to facilitate the identification, creation of a group of ambassador families
- Carrying out assessments which concern the building, uses and equipment entrance
- Drawing up of recommendations and feedback for the family to put it them in place
- Presentation of assessments to social workers to enable them to adjust their support
- Organisation of ARA projects and technical interventions in supported DIY renovations according to the status of the occupants
- Setting up negotiations and mediations, aimed at the PB where necessary
- Monitoring and support over 12 to 18 months

Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions

The action started on 1st June and should enable 40 families to be supported over 1 year. To date (30/07/2014), 20 families have already entered the project

Original characteristics

The originality of the program is based on an ARA approach (Supported DIY Renovation) and the willingness to see the project being led by CG83.

Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme

Financial Partnership: CG 83, ADEME Region, Municipality of Salernes, EDF, Fondation de France, MACIF Foundation
Technical partnership: social centrs including the ST Maximin La sainte Baume and Vinon sur Verdon, social workers from CG83, ccas from municipalities including those from Brignoles and Salernes, social integration associations such as Garrigues (social grocery shops), Arif (CHRS) , Aseparg (specialised prevention).


Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :

• The main difficulty lies in the needs identified in the territory being well above the absorption capacity of the project
• Lack of enforcement measures against Property Landlords combined with very limited incentives

Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :

• Mobilisation of foundations
• Construction of micro projects with the municipalities to try to increase the project's capacity

Suggestions for future improvement :

• The project is not yet advanced enough to draw any clear lessons. Instead, it tries to respond to observations made during the experiments. It makes use of the ambassador families in order to co-manage the collective workshops

Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :

• Collective entry
• Overall entry and doing with

To know more

See http://resolis.org/fiche-pratique/consommer-mieux-pour-consommer-moins-vers-une-consommation-energetique-responsable-et-citoyenne/342

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