Milieukontakt Albania participated in the kick off meeting of EmpowerMed Project in Barcelona on October 22-25.

For four days, 9 partners from 7 countries of EU got together to discuss local challenges on energy poverty. Considering the geographical coverage of the project and the integration of all partners, each organization shared knowledge and experiences on capacity building, energy poverty, strengthening of the local community, especially of women through methods applied in Barcelona. The meeting aimed in division of roles and tasks for each organization through the four years of the project period in 6 local Mediterranean pilot areas.

In the Mediterranean countries, coastal area face several challenges in relation to energy poverty, related to hot and cold within dwellings. During the first day of the meeting, each organization presented its profile, experiences and programmes they implement in their countries. France, Spain, Slovenia and Croatia has previous experiences on energy poverty, while for Albania and Italy this is the start of the implementation of such project.

In addition, the partners will work to identify the concrete problems that people affected by energy poverty have. The problems are numerous and similar, and relate not only to the economical side, but also to the health and technological factors.


Weak insulation, lack of heating / cooling systems, lack of concept and data on energy poverty, income levels, climate change and categories of most affected people (vulnerable, women, elderly and poor workers) are the main indicators that show the situation when a family suffers from energy poverty.


Meetings at the IREC (Catalonia Institute for Energy Research) premises were combined with the site visit at ESF (Enginyeria sans Fronteres) organization during the consequent meeting they had to assist families / persons who had problems with electricity and water. The role of the Foundation was to provide information on how to read bills, their rights and to identify the causes that lead to high consumption, suggesting the implementation of a series of practical measures for the most efficient use of energy and water. The biweekly meetings played a key role in strengthening families in addressing energy poverty, with a particular focus on women and health.


The main purpose of the project is to implement these practical measures to address energy poverty, as an approach for the Vlora community, an area selected by Milieukontakt Albania. Field visits, small investment support and health workshops will be some of our activities. In the next few days, we will meet local stakeholders to present the project, the concept of energy poverty, the impact on health, what activities are planned in Vlora municipality, as well as the practical measures to be planned and addressed at national and regional political level.


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