Rising fuel and energy prices nowadays are issues to public debate in most European countries alongside with the challenges concerning climatic change and the finiteness of global resources.
For households with low income this debate is one about financial existence and a secure livelihood – or to put it simple: it is a question about whether you can pay your bills, switch on the light and stay warm in winter.
Manifold attempts are being made in European countries to tackle the problem of fuel poverty. Especially households with low income lack the capital to invest in energy or water saving technologies and often also the knowledge on the rational use of energy and water. The Energy-Check for Low Income Households – EC-LINC – motivates and enables people with low income to live more energy efficiently by applying no-cost or low cost measures. The pilot projects of EC-LINC in Berlin, Berchem, Budapest and Vienna help these households to change their consumer behaviour.
Moreover, small energy and water saving devices are installed during the household consultation for free. In some of the projects long-term unemployed people are trained to become energy savings advisors, so the consultation can be executed on eye-level and the advisors themselves can improve their chances on the labour market.