Energy Transition: everybody is affected so everybody should be heard!
The Fair Energy Transition for All project is based on listening to vulnerable groups, gathering their views and presenting them to experts and policy-makers. In Bulgaria, the project activities were led by the Center for Energy Efficiency EnEffect, in the role of a Facilitator Partner, and the Municipal Energy Efficiency Network EcoEnergy, in the role of National Policy Partner, and supported by experts from the Center for the Study of Democracy, a leading institution in Bulgaria on issues related to poverty and social inclusion.
The three main phases of the project were:
- qualitative research work in focus groups with vulnerable citizens,
- expert meetings developing policy recommendations in the pre-selected topical areas, and
- Fair Energy Forum with broad representation of vulnerable consumers reviewing the produced expert recommendations.
During the first phase of the project, ten focus groups were formed and conducted, covering the whole territory of the country, with the task to share their attitudes and insight on the fair energy transition process, predominantly focused in three thematic areas - energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transport.
Based on these findings, special presentation materials were prepared for dissemination to the expert community as well as specific individual profiles, the so-called personas, of persons representative for the main groups involved in the work with vulnerable communities. At the subsequent expert meetings, these findings and outcomes were discussed with a wide range of stakeholders from state institutions, energy experts, NGOs, municipalities and energy service providers. As a result, 3 sets of 10 recommendations each were developed and presented to the attention of both the wider expert community and those involved in the political decision-making process in Bulgaria.
In the final stage of the work, these recommendations were verified with the community of vulnerable consumers and were open for another round of remarks and contributions. The key recommendations selected by the forum were enriched with content and guidance on their future application within the open discussions. They were mostly concentrated in the area of improved access building renovation programmes, which proved to be the most recognized by the vulnerable groups due to previous political and communication actions. Additionally, important interventions were evidenced focusing on the need of streamlined awareness raising campaign on the specifics and benefits from renewable energy sources and clean mobility solutions, and on the importance of the development of the regulation framework and the necessary public infrastructure. The recommendations were then promoted by the FETA policy consultant and networking experts in Bulgaria for future advocacy activities with the purpose to stimulate the policy-making process and speed up the development of financial support programmes mitigating the impact of the current energy and economic crisis and leading significant segments of the population out of energy poverty.
More information about the project and the final reports can be found here: https://fair-energy-transition.eu/