Logo PACT du Douaisis

Thermal renovation and social and participatory reform against energy poverty

Summary : The PACT in Douaisis succeeded in combining two essential dimensions of the fight against energy poverty which are often compartmentalised: the renovation of buildings, essential to address the causes of fuel poverty, and the social support needed for the change to be appropriate and long lasting.

Share this report


  • Start date : July 2010
  • Implementation site : 26 units of an area of Douai
  • Budget : 2713943 €
  • Source and details on funding : Etat: 9 %; FEDER: 7 %; Regional Agglomeration of Douaisis: 4 %


  • PACT du Douaisis
  • 30 Boulevard Delebecque
  • 59500 Douai
  • Employees : 33
  • Volunteers : 0


Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  07/07/2014 00:00
Opinion of the Committee : Source of inspiration !
Solution(s) : Fuel poverty Housing
Country :  France, Hauts-de-France
Stature of the programme :  Local
Participant :  Association, ONG
  • Beneficiaries :  Urban population
  • Domain :  Housing, Energy

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 : Simon Virginie , « Thermal renovation and social and participatory reform against energy poverty », **Journal RESOLIS** (2014)

Background to the programme

A set of flats (the Vieux-Corons housing estate in Douais), was made up of old and energy inefficient properties and required complete thermal renovation. The PACT in Douaisis who took charge of the project management and enabled its renovation. Soon, in addition to the technical work realised, the PACT took the opportunity to provide social support, both individual and collective, to families who wished to remain in their home after the work.

Objectives of the programme

- Thermal renovation of the housing to meet BBC standards (Low Consumption Building)

- Allow each family to carry on with their lives after the work (leaving the accommodation, adapt to its characteristics, etc ...)

- Create a permanent dynamic consisting of sharing, consultation and social links between residents

- Educate and inform households about eco-friendly practices and the optimal use of the renovated properties so that the technical investment and the renovation are both useful and appropriate

Implemented actions

- Renovation Site: temporary relocation of families, realisation of the work

- Consultation with families:

• Before work: definition of each household's project and support in its realisation (final move from the house, adaptations to the property for the disabled or aging, adaptation to a particular budget, etc ...)

• During the work with the families who have expressed a desire to stay: organisation of monthly meetings to monitor the progress of the site to inform households and collect their views as a part of a participatory approach

- Two workshops:
• "My eco-house": involvement of residents in the choice of protective surface, paint, etc ... of their property, raise awareness of energy saving practices (measure consumption with a watt meter, demonstration of the renovation work on a plan, eco-actions and eco-housing in a model apartment, etc ..)

• "My eco-garden" project born from the collaboration between the inhabitants and their willingness to also value the collective space. Design and development with the help of a technician, participation in workshops with a gardener

Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions

At the beginning of 2014: 16 homes renovated

15 households monitored to date

Feedback on consumption from 6 households: average 30% decrease in gas consumption over a full year

Listening to each other, individual support and the momentum of the collective dynamic gave the locals the desire to change and the sense of belonging to a group.

Feedback from the inhabitants: say they are satisfied, their sense of ownership and participation is proven by the creation of the "eco-garden" that responds to their wishes. Improved comfort and well-being in the renovated homes.
(See the document on the evolution of the project)

Original characteristics

This is an exemplary renovation as the PACT in Douaisis were not content with simply carrying out the renovation work but wanted to involve the future occupants. Often highly personalised family support is offered but the means are lacking to achieve the work. Here, the two dimensions are combined, which enables families in difficulty who are often cut off from the themes of energy and the environment, to take ownership of these issues and become involved before, during and after the renovation work.

Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme

- Sponsors: Fondation de France, Solinergy, Regional Council of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Agglomeration Community of Douai, city of Douai, Northern General Council, Regional Agency of Health, Abbé Pierre Foundation

- Organisation of "My eco-garden": association "Près du sol," family gardens

- Completion of a documentary film with the Fondation Abbé Pierre (available on the foundation's website or on youtube "vieux corons" https://www.youtube.com/watch v=2sx3VKk2OxU )

- CCAS and neighborhood associations


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

- The tenants were mostly families with difficulties (financial, personal), who needed to be integrated into society, who had daily, time-consuming problems to manage, who found it difficult to project into the future, and were far removed from the themes of energy management

- Reluctance and initial distrust of the inhabitants following a previous bad experience regarding renovation

Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :

- Identifying and prioritising "active people" among the beneficiaries, who were dynamic, willing to invest and can mobilise the other tenants through encouragement and by being an example

- Creation of links and a group dynamic through the organisation of leisure outings outside of the neighbourhood.

Suggestions for future improvement :

- Evaluation of the results and impacts are ongoing (until 2015)

Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :

- Real mobilisation of residents

- Birth of a neighbourhood dynamic

- Taking account of the tenants' voice in a participatory approach which was built dynamically

To know more

https://www.youtube.com/watch v=2sx3VKk2OxU

Share this report
Download the report