Energy saving checks to reduce poverty

May 17, 2023Clean Energy, Inspiring initiative

Photo: Arthur Lambillotte on Unsplash

ACCTING aims to understand the impact of Green Deal policies on vulnerable groups, prevent inequalities, and produce knowledge and innovations to advance behavioural change at individual and collective levels for an inclusive and equal European Green Deal. This bottom-up initiative was collected by Claudia Fabó Cartas within ACCTING’s mapping of inspiring practice cases, within Clean energy Research Line. Read our report on all 693 mapped initiatives.


Stromspar-Check (SSC), Germany


Energy poverty leads to social exclusion, limited social capital, and low self-worth that could contribute to prolonging poverty.  

An innovative project targeting low-income households:  

Stromspar-Check (SSC) is a joint project by the Deutsche Caritasverb and the Association of Energy and Climate Protection Agencies in Germany. In 2008, the Energy Saving Check initiative began in 60 regions with energy-saving advice for low-income households. According to the Stromspar-Check website: “The electricity savings check is now available in more than 150 cities and districts.” 

The initiative aims to: 

  • Minimize electricity consumption for low-income citizens:  Reducing their financial burden while decreasing the stigma of poverty.  
  • Allow unemployed people to re-enter the workforce as SSC advisers: SSC advisers are formerly long-term unemployed individuals who completed extensive training that provided them with the credibility to advise people. Basically, SSC advisers visit households that signed up for a check then the database calculates potential savings. Accordingly, the workers give practical tips on how households can save energy simply by changing their behaviours and installing energy and water-saving devices (“immediate aids”) such as LED lights, time switches, water-saving shower heads, etc.  
  • Contribute to the climate protection goals of their city:  by providing electricity savings checks which leads to a reduction in the cost of their accommodation. 

Find out more here.

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