Recognition of the work of social entities against energy poverty

The lack of access to affordable and renewable energy sources is a challenge that affects millions of people around the world. In this panorama Social entities that fight against energy poverty are key while guaranteeing basic rights for the most vulnerable population.

These organizations play a vital role in tackling this problem on multiple fronts. Not only do they provide direct assistance to those struggling to pay their energy bills, but educate, advocate and promote sustainable solutions long term.

In order to support the work of these organizations, Naturgy Foundation has the “Award for the best social initiative in the field of energy”, with which they try to recognize and make visible people, entities and institutions that stand out for their contribution in the social field thanks to their energy-related projects.

The foundation has already completed its fifth challenge. The application period will be open until 1 March 2024. All projects that seek social improvement linked to energy are welcome, including in areas such as the environment, health, education, vulnerability, social inclusion or entrepreneurship. The condition is that these projects are developed in Spain and that they are completed or ongoing.

The main prize is 60,000 euros, while the runner-up will receive €30,000. These substantial sums should be used to support and strengthen social projects that stand out for their positive impact on society.

The jury is chaired by Manuel Bretón, president of Cáritas Española, who stated that “issue after issue we learn about projects that are increasingly innovative and committed to vulnerable people and caring for our planet. As president of the jury, I feel great joy about the social and ecological commitment of our country and the support that Fundación Naturgy offers to these interesting initiatives.”

This Naturgy Foundation award provides €60,000 to the winning entity and €30,000 to the runner-up.

For Director General of the Naturgy Foundation, María Eugenia Coronado, “It is a pleasure to reach the fifth year of this award, which was designed as part of the networking that our foundation implements with social organizations, and which allowed us to discover the great work that these agents have done in reducing energy vulnerability in our country”.

First Edition: Ecodes and Isadora Duncan Foundation

In total, more than 260 applications with nearly 825,000 recipients competed for this award in its first four years. In the first call The winning initiative was “There is no house without energy” from the Foundation for Ecology and Development (Ecodes). This program, which has been running since 2013, has benefited more than 7,000 families. The project, which has enabled an average 25% saving on bills, offers personalized advice on how to reduce bills, learn responsible habits and implement energy efficiency measures for households, as well as help with their financing.

Director of the Energy and People Area of ​​​​Ecodes, Cecilia Foronda, explains that the award was a great motivation to continue the project: “The award allowed us to promote the line of work of express renovation of houses, which is one of the essential measures for the long-term solution of energy poverty, because the cheapest energy is the one that is not consumed.” Thanks to this, the living conditions of 9 families have improved.”

Ecodes Foundation was the first winner of the 1st year of the Naturgy Foundation’s ‘Award for the best social initiative in the field of energy’.

Foundation for single-parent families Isadora Duncan, received the second prize for the project “Family Financial Education and Energy Poverty”, an initiative that has benefited 2,600 families since 2011. Its aim is to support the economic empowerment of families and the proper management of income, to promote investment, hiring, responsible spending and consumption, and the sustainable use of energy.

The responsible for the program, Sonsoles Reviriego, explains how the award has enabled them to significantly increase the number of energy audits carried out: “We have achieved an increase in rehabilitation interventions in households in situations of energy vulnerability and the possibility of amplifying the ratio of care towards families.”

Second edition: Exit Foundation and Norte Joven Association

In 2021, the jury awarded the “Plugged to Employment” project of the Exit Foundation, an initiative that supports the education of young people in the energy sector. The Director of the Exit Project, María Huertas, emphasizes that the award made it possible to bring this reality closer to the educational world, to identify, promote and energize networking.

The second prize went to the “Generando Futuro” project of the Norte Joven association for supporting the education of young people in the field of energy in order to prevent early school leaving and promote their employment. His CEO, Mercedes Negueruela, He points out that “the award was primarily a recognition of our work; Secondly, it made the subject and the project more visible, and finally, the award allowed us to continue developing the project in the following year.”

Presentation of the second prize of the second year “Award for the best social initiative in the energy field of the Naturgy Foundation” to the Norte Joven association.

Third Edition: Energy Without Borders and Roure Foundation

Naturgy Foundation appreciated the project “Contribute to the social improvement of the most vulnerable in Spain through training and access to energy” by Fundación Energía sin Fronteras in its third edition. The aim of this program is to reduce energy poverty by acting in two main areas: supporting people in situations of economic vulnerability and the social entities that accompany these people.

Pilar Sevilla, President of the Energy Without Borders Foundation, he explains what the prize was used for: “Basically, it allowed us to have two lines of work in Spain, photovoltaic installations for social centers and energy poverty actions, which are financially independent. And that means we can develop our actions faster.”

The Energy Without Borders Foundation has helped more than 495,000 people in 30 countries

The second prize was awarded on initiative Roure Foundation “Comprehensive Help for Energy Vulnerability”, for the support and energy advice they provide to people in vulnerable situations. Since the start of the project, in 2019, this Barcelona foundation has served 1,104 people and rehabilitated a total of 82 houses. The person in charge of the project, Carlos Villalonga, says that thanks to the award, they were able to renovate and improve the enclosures of their day care center for the elderly, the wiring of the food service and the appliances of their soup kitchen, among others.

Fourth Edition: The Spanish Red Cross and CÍRVITE – Full Inclusion

Last year, the jury recognized the winner Spanish Red Cross, for a comprehensive project to fight against people at risk of extreme poverty and exclusion, thanks to which it managed to help 20,200 people directly and 80,800 indirectly. The institution works with people who are at risk of extreme poverty and exclusion to have the necessary energy resources that allow them to achieve a reasonable well-being in the society in which we live.

Sara Casas, responsible for the environment of the Red Cross, explains that the award has enabled them to implement new initiatives to more effectively address energy poverty in underserved areas. “We achieved this by creating PIER (Rural Energy Information Points) in towns with a low population,” he adds.

A comprehensive project to fight against people threatened by extreme poverty and the exclusion of the Red Cross became the winner of the IV. year of the Naturgy Foundation Prize for the best social initiative in the field of energy.

The second prize was won by a the CÍRVITE – Full Inclusion initiative, for its sustainable housing in the service of elderly people with disabilities in Madrid. It is worth noting the acoustic and thermal insulation, as well as the air purification carried out in the infrastructures to prevent infections and guarantee the comfort of the environment, in line with the goals set in Agenda 2030. It is the first “rehogar” with a passive house. certificate for people with mental disabilities in Spain.

Its director, Jonatan Arroyo, emphasizes that the award was a very special boost and recognition after months of hard work. “The amount contributed The Naturgy Foundation helps to multiply the comfort of the environment even more, to undertake measures that could not be carried out at the time due to lack of budget. For example, new green areas are prepared,” explains the intervention, which allows them to prevent future floods and facilitates the water cycle through filtration.

Naturgy Foundationfounded in 1992, its mission is dissemination, training, information and raising public awareness of energy and environmental issues. It also develops social action programs at the national and international level, focusing in particular on actions aimed at reducing energy vulnerability.

    This content was prepared by ALAYANS STUDIO, Henneo’s branded content unit.

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