Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, account for a large share of the estimated >50 million EU citizens who cannot afford enough energy to support their health and well-being. In extreme cases, families may have to choose whether to ‘heat or eat’ in winter, according to the Right to Energy (R2E) Coalition report released on 20 February 2019.
Therefore, a “solution accelerator” mentoring programme, “Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty” has been recently launched by Ashoka and Schneider Electric Foundation, with the support of Enel Romania as local partner, to tackle energy poverty by boosting the capacity of local social entrepreneurs. The programme targets five CEE countries, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania.
Among the EU countries, the five selected rank poorly in the R2E report: Bulgaria (28), Hungary (27), Czech Republic (15), Poland (14) and Romania (13).
The Accelerator Program will consider projects across a wide range of areas, including: cross-sector collaboration; education, training and employment; energy efficiency: energy production; innovative funding; mapping and raising awareness; and health, well-being and economic development.
Through an open call for projects, the Program partners will select three participants from each country, including, among others, money prizes and mentoring and financial support. Applications can be submitted online here. Deadline: Friday, 12 April 2019.