POWER UP
in The Netherlands: Heerlen

In The Netherlands, POWER UP will implement a pilot scheme in Heerlen. It should be a scheme that could work for the whole region Parkstad Limburg. Heerlen is one of the 6 European pilots that act as “living labs”: each of them will implement novel business models around renewable energy or energy efficiency services together with households affected by energy poverty and with local stakeholders (municipalities, social organisations, energy utilities, citizen cooperatives etc.).
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Inhabitants in Heerlen
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Energy poverty rate in Heerlen in 2021
copyright Municipality Of Heerlen
copyright Municipality Of Heerlen

The energy poverty issue

A national definition of energy poverty exists. It sets the limit for households that spend 10% of their monthly income on their energy bill and do not earn more than € 14 000 a year. In 2020, 23% of the city’s inhabitants were 65 years or older and 13% younger than 15. Moreover, 39% have a lower education level (30% at national level). Over the last years the city has implemented several projects to help people make energy savings, including an energy one-stop-shop and visits by an energy team.

Because of a national grant, residents can get free vouchers for products and/or advice . As part of the city solar panel project a decision was made to waver a credit verification for people to get a loan from the municipality. The main reason was to give people with lower incomes the possibility to join the project.

Recently the region Parkstad Limburg, started an action for a new regional strategy for a fast intervention pending on the fast-rising energy prices. For 2022 there is an extra national grant for quick interventions. The province of Limburg also started extended research, together with TNO to support common solutions to fight energy poverty. General ambition for the municipality is that the energy transition should be inclusive.

Renewable energy production and energy community

The last 3 years, the city administration supported two energy cooperatives. While one is focussing on the traditional solar installation on large roofs with an interesting innovative financial scheme, the other cooperative is more into neighbourhood renovation action and assistance in neighbourhood heat plans. Both are strongly socially engaged. Both cooperatives support and learn from each other.

Cooperative Heerlen City Center wants to put solar panels on roofs (big and small) in the city centre and re-invest the profits in energy saving projects for their members. As part of their strategy, the city centre should benefit from solar energy production… A pilot has also been started in an industrial park with the companies, neighbouring homeowners and social housing company: the idea is to set up an energy company/cooperative that can produce solar energy on roofs and sell it to the members.

These initiatives are perfectly in line with the municipal and national goal for a more participative society and supports the EU Climate Pact initiative.

Dutch Partner

Located in the South-East of The Netherlands, 87.000 inhabitants.

https://www.heerlen.nl

Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Sister organisation​

Breda, 183.000 inhabitants

Each pilot organisation has found a ‘sparring partner’ organisation in its region which expressed its intention to replicate the pilot scheme.

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