There is a bag of money and there is the knowledge that about 1,500 households in Hilversum need help due to energy poverty. The only problem is that the municipality has no idea which minimum families are eligible for this financial support to be able to print the energy bill. Help is called from civil society organizations to identify the target group.
Energy prices are rising. For many people, the energy bill has skyrocketed and certainly for the residents with a small wallet, these rapidly rising fixed burdens can hardly or simply not be coughed up anymore. Like many other municipalities, Hilversum wants to help the minimum households a financial hand.
Money was received from the Ministry of the Interior. This is an amount of 671,886 euros. The same amount of money could be distributed again, as a result of which Hilversum has a thick 1.3 million euros from the Government to help Hilversummers save energy and reduce costs in the period from 1 September 2022 to 1 May 2023. This second payment from the ministry is not yet certain.
For the municipality, it turns out to be a difficult search who they can then help. Experience shows that a more personal approach is required than recruiting via letters, flyers and markets, as was previously the case with the Reduction of Energy Consumption Housing (RREW). People do not step forward so quickly out of shame and / or pride. These are known phenomena that, for example, an aid organization such as the food bank also runs into.
“People with energy poverty will be less likely to ask for help saving energy, attending an information meeting or using a voucher for energy-saving products,” the municipality says.
That is exactly why Hilversum is now throwing another bow and the municipality is enlisting the help of social organizations to better reach the target group. Think of the welfare organization Versa Welzijn, the three housing corporations, the already mentioned food bank and the social square (the Hilversum social service). Because they work in the neighborhoods, have knowledge of the neighborhood and the residents, they can provide support to the right households, so is the mindset.
Water-saving shower head
Incidentally, Hilversum wants to tackle energy poverty – if the right households have been found – more broadly. This includes more visits from a professional energy cooler. Until recently, this coach only gave families advice on how to save, such as using LED lights, a water-saving shower head and installing trip strips.
In the near future, the clutter will also come along to see if the energy meter actually turns out more favorable. Either: whether the measures taken have a structurally positive effect. “This increases the chance of lasting behavior change, because we remove as many practical obstacles as possible,” said the municipality.
“For households living in energy poverty, energy saving is often not a priority due to the various problems they face”
Hilversum emphasizes that this change in behavior is important. Simply transferring money to lower the bill is not enough. In addition, sustainable housing measures are needed to meet the objectives of the energy transition. A sit in the back is a welcome step for them in this sustainable direction.
“For households living in energy poverty, energy saving is often not a priority due to the various problems they face,” the municipality states. “Low-income homeowners often do not have the financial means to invest in the preservation of the home. They will remain dependent on natural gas, which will continue to increase the energy bill. There is a high chance that financial problems will arise or worsen”, reads the statement to invest in it.