CLEAR-X project breaks down barriers for sustainable home energy solutions
Euroconsumers’ Portuguese member Deco Proteste is one of the partners in a major Horizon 2020 project that will put more people at the heart of Europe’s sustainable energy transition. The CLEAR-X project aims to make it easier and cheaper to transition to renewable energy by encouraging consumers in Lithuania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, North Macedonia, Slovakia and Slovenia to use collective purchases to select and install the best value and highest quality sustainable energy technologies.
Breaking down barriers to sustainable home energy choices
These systems and products might be photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, heat pumps
for heating and cooling, air-water heat pumps and heat pump tumble dryers. These products can be unfamiliar and expensive so making informed decisions is challenging. To help with this, the CLEAR-X project will focus on:
- Making consumers aware of the opportunities and savings to be had from renewable and sustainable energy products
- Improving access to trustworthy advisors who can advise them on what’s best for them, or on how to get financial support
- Creating independent rankings of various different product options based on extensive laboratory testing
- Producing independent reviews of selected installation services that consumers can trust
Learning from direct delivery of renewable energy schemes
CLEAR-X is building on the success of the CLEAR 2.0 programme which involved all our member organisations as well as BEUC and international product testing network ICRT. From 2018-2020, CLEAR 2.0 delivered 17 collective purchases, resulting in 29,000 renewable energy installations.
CLEAR 2.0 also learnt what wider support is needed to overcome barriers beyond the cost of installation including: access to trusted advisors and credible ratings for products; showing consumers the return on their investments over time; having a range of financing options from tax incentives to ‘pay as you save’ schemes; and understanding how shared purchasing agreements can work best for consumers. The learning from CLEAR 2.0 is now being expanded to six more countries in Central and Eastern Europe and to benefit up to 38,000 more consumers.
Collective purchasing – the key to home renewable energy installation
Collective purchase campaigns are a central aspect to the CLEAR-X project, aiming to overcome the main barriers stopping consumers from investing in these new technologies. These are commonly used for negotiating energy supply deals but are applied here for the collective purchase of renewable energy systems (RES) and energy efficient (EE) products. Here’s how it works:
This process means consumers will have access to a selection of lab-tested products, a selected installer, and a trusted third-party contact point throughout their purchase journey. As a result, it will be much easier for consumers to commit to these new RES and EE technologies and adapt their energy consumption behaviour and save money and energy.
This project, led by BEUC, and supported by global product testing network ICRT, started in September 2021 and will run until early 2024. The main task will be to launch 10 collective purchase over a period of 12 months. In total, nine organizations are taking part, seven are established national consumer organizations which provide advice to consumers on the ground: ALCO (Lithuania), BNAAC (Bulgaria), CCA (Cyprus), DECO PROTESTE (Portugal), OPM, (North Macedonia), SOS (Slovakia) and ZPS (Slovenia).
Learn more about the project: https://www.clear-x.eu/