The OÖ Energiesparverband implements a pilot project for low-income households in one district of Upper Austria to reduce their electricity costs. About 26,000 Upper Austrians are low-income households and receive support from the government for covering heating costs.
Low-income households very often have higher electricity costs due to older and less electricity efficient appliances. Instead of giving them once a subsidy, the aim of the pilot project is to reduce electricity costs in a long-term perspective.
In a first step, the project is carried out in one district of Upper Austria. Low-income households get free energy advice. The energy adviser of the OÖ Energiesparverband comes to their homes and suggests no-cost measures to reduce electricity costs. The household gets a "first aid package" which includes among others energy saving bulbs and power strips. If the adviser notices that the household has very poor electric appliances – mainly inefficient, old appliances - a free exchange is done. In a first step, mainly fridges/freezers, washing machines and electric stoves are exchanged.
The project is financed by the regional government and implemented by the regional energy agency OÖ Energiesparverband in cooperation with social initiatives, the district commission and the communities.
So far, 170 families have received energy advice and 100 household appliances have been exchanged to new energy-saving ones.