The partnership between the Naturgy Foundation and Caritas has meant around 20,000 people have been assisted in the last two years through different initiatives relating to energy rehabilitation of homes and educating vulnerable families about energy.
With the aim of expanding on the actions undertaken to date, the deputy chairman of the Naturgy Foundation, Jordi Garcia Tabernero, the chairman of Cáritas Española, Manuel Bretón, and the managing director of the Naturgy Foundation, María Eugenia Coronado, signed the partnership agreement renewal in Madrid.
Garcia Tabernero explained that since Naturgy launched its Vulnerability Plan in 2017, it has “collaborated with Third Sector organisations such as Cáritas because we are convinced that, in order to alleviate the energy poverty that affects thousands of families, it is essential to work together with public authorities, social organisations and companies.”
Manuel Bretón said: “Improving energy efficiency in homes is one of the keys to resolving energy access, which affects excluded families in particular. This access should be regarded as a basic right, meaning it should be guaranteed because it is a condition for access to others such as education and health.”
Focus on energy rehabilitation and education
Over the next two months, both organisations will focus their joint efforts on energy rehabilitation projects in homes, educating vulnerable families through the Naturgy Foundation's Energy School and energy volunteering programmes with company employees.
The rehabilitation will take place in homes selected by Cáritas which need improvements to the electricity installation, repairs or purchasing of heating and/or cooling systems, better insulation and closures, and anything that may improve the energy efficiency of homes of vulnerable families cared for by the social organisation. Until now, 230 homes and shelters have been rehabilitated within the framework of this activity, and the aim is to add another 130 homes with this new agreement.
“Energy rehabilitation is a priority action of the Naturgy Foundation and is in line with the National Strategy to tackle Energy Poverty 2019-2024,” explained Maria Eugenia Coronado. Recently approved by the Government of Spain, this roadmap defines express energy-related property rehabilitations as one of the short-, medium- and long-term lines of action to address this problem structurally. As an example of best practice in this regard, the document cites the study entitled “Express Rehabilitations for Vulnerable Homes”, supported by the Naturgy Foundation.
The Energy School will continue with its schedule of sessions at Cáritas offices to educate vulnerable families. These workshops explain how to use energy more efficiently to reduce utility bills without compromising on comfort at home. The aim is to empower people so they can minimise the impact of the energy cost by applying the measures and advice given to them by the educators at the practical and demonstrative sessions. Since the partnership began in mid-2017, over 850 vulnerable families have attended 42 Energy School workshops carried out in parishes around Madrid, Andalusia, Galicia and Catalonia.
The work of the Naturgy Foundation energy volunteers is another way the partnership will be maintained to be able to help vulnerable families cared for by Cáritas improve their daily energy use.