Expert article
Modifier 30 January 2021
by Marta García París, UIA expert

Journal 1: Energy Poverty Intelligence Unit (EPIU)

Getafe
Getafe
This is the first journal of the Energy Poverty Intelligence Unit (EPIU) project since its start on September 2019. EPIU led by Municipaility of Getafe is an ambitious Urban Innovation Action aiming at identifying and combat energy poverty through an intelligent tool for advanced analysis.

Getafe's main challenge is to identify and fight hidden energy poverty (HEP) by developing the Energy Poverty Intelligence Unit with a pilot project in its two most vulnerable areas: Las Margaritas and La Alhóndiga. Innovation lies in the change in energy poverty attention beyond monetary poverty: from reaction to prevention using data. EPIU is based on a data analytics system that collects information on energy consumption, income and other factors determining energy poverty at three scales: home, building, and neighbourhood. EPIU improves the collaboration between working areas of the city council and enhance civil servants’ skills. Finally, homes, buildings and neighborhoods will become more energy efficient, contributing to a more responsible use of energy.
The project benefits and feeds from existing local, regional, national and European initiatives and policies which aim at identifying and tackle energy poverty too.
The project is put forward on a wide consortium with expertise from strategic areas such as academia, charities, energy companies, social organizations, public companies, consultancy services and the building sector. This strong partnership with wide experience on energy poverty gives the municipality of Getafe the reliance of a good delivery of the project.
Yet, the Covid-19 crisis that can be labelled as a “total social fact” , has affected all spheres of life and has altered the project too, not only in terms of milestones, but also in terms of objectives. Getafe, as well as the rest of European municipalities paralyzed their activities from March 2020 to October 2020. Furthermore, Getafe suffered too on the second wave of the pandemic and the city was under confinement again in autumn 2020. By the time of writing this report, the municipality is under restrictions and has not recovered its normality which has impacted all of the seven challenges analysed and affected their intensity.
Citizens, Getafe’s public administration and EPIU partnership dynamics have changed due to Covid-19 which has resulted on a project general delay. The Data Analytics System is not yet completed due to lack to access data and the difficulty to reach citizens needed to deploy surveys and home energy monitoring. Besides, the design of the energy poverty service is not as advanced as initially foreseen.
Notwithstanding the above, EPIU’s work during this implementation period has shown a solid organizational structure and a capacity to redesign procedures without affecting the essence of the project. Initially, EPIU was designed to be implemented sequentially and at this stage, EPIU is being separated into sprints to ensure the correct project implementation and minimize risks derived from the pandemic situation.
In addition to this executive summary this Journal provides an analysis of how the project fits in the policy context at EU, national and local level and an overview of the implementation challenges faced by the project in the first months of the project and a brief conclusive perspectives for the coming months.
 

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Challenges intensity overview and lessons learnt within this period

Challenge
Observation

2. How the project fits in the policy context at the EU, national and regional level

3. Short update

4. Addressing 7 challenges

5. Conclusion

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