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About SCORE

The Challenge

Financial, technical and social innovations are essential prerequisites for a successful transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies (RES). In order to balance demand with a volatile energy supply and to accept new technologies like smart meters, it is necessary to build new energy infrastructure and motivate consumers to change their consumption habits.

In this context, consumer co-ownership in RES has proved a successful strategy. By engaging consumers in the financing of RES, they become “prosumers”, which in turn induces positive behavioural changes in energy consumption.

“Prosumer” models, however, are still not widely implemented across Europe, and the participation of women and social groups prone to fuel poverty is still rather uncommon: So far the typical “prosumer” is male, middle aged and has a higher income.

The Aim

The aim of SCORE is to facilitate co-ownership of RE for consumers first in three pilot regions in Italy, Czech Republic and Poland - and later also in various other follower cities across Europe.

SCORE hereby particularly highlights the potential this democratic participation model holds for the inclusion of women and low-income households. The participation of these under-represented groups as prosumers through financial empowerment rather than social protection is a core element in the fight against energy poverty. We are therefore formulating policy recommendations at the EU and national level to promote prosumership with a particular focus on the inclusion of women and low-income households and the removal of barriers for consumers to become active market players.

The Approach

Our approach is to apply Consumer Stock Ownership Plans (CSOPs), utilising established best practice RE projects updated by inclusive financing techniques. As the particular focus of the project lies on vulnerable groups affected by fuel poverty that are as a rule excluded from RE investments, effective and innovative engagement actions are tailored to their needs. The participating local and regional authorities as well as existing local energy projects receive legal and technical advice for a tailor-made participation model. These models are based on best practice examples, receive support for engaging local stakeholders as well as the public, and engage in a peer-to-peer exchange with other public authorities active in the project and visible as forerunners in RES in Europe.

SCORE implements innovative prosumer RE investments in three European pilot communities: the Susa Valley (Italy), the city of Słupsk, (Poland) and the city of Litoměřice (Czech Republic). In these pilot municipalities, an existing renewable energy project at community scale is extended to include local consumers and citizens with the active involvement of the local government body. Germany as a pioneer in prosumership hereby serves as reference country, and Bulgaria is central to the development of an approach for the inclusion of households affected by fuel poverty.

SCORE is supporting local authorities in the pilot communities with the project’s expert pool. We analyse and compare existing models of consumer co-ownership and develop best practice manuals and templates for “prosumer financing” based on our assessment and the experience gathered from the pilot projects. SCORE conducts a large-scale capacity building programme, which addresses and empowers over 1,000 local authorities and stakeholders and further spreads best practise examples across the EU. The five countries at the focus of the project are Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Poland and Czech Republic. These countries can be seen as representatives for the EU both in old and new member states with differing prevalent political priorities

The Potential

SCORE increases the awareness of consumers in regards to the benefits of investing in RE projects in a local context (co-ownership) and to motivate consumers to become prosumers of RES.

Moreover, we enable municipalities in the partner countries to facilitate the development of innovative and already successfully implemented legal and financial solutions (CSOP financing technique) that are compatible with future European legislation.

All in all, SCORE provides a highly flexible and inclusive financial model which can be customized for local needs. By empowering vulnerable consumers, SCORE contributes not only to the local community but also to the Energy Transition as a whole, which makes it a best practice model in and possibly even outside of Europe.