Universal access to affordable and modern energy services is critical to sustainable development, the World Bank states. According to its World Development Indicators improvements over the past two decades led to 85 percent of the world enjoying access to electricity in 2012. Yet, 1.1 billion people are still without. Likewise, The EU estimates 11% of its inhabitants may have to deal with energy poverty. An important opportunity, as well as a challenge, may be provided by the way we deal with urban development, now and in the future. An estimated 60 percent of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2030. Access to adequate housing with resilient energy infrastructures will be ever more key to sustainable and healthy (urban) life. This triggered us to look into what some of the social enterprises we have surveyed do in these closely, interlinked domains. Below you will find links to six social enterprises from China, Germany, Portugal and the UK. It shows they myriad ways social enterprises try to achieve social impact in regards to housing and energy poverty.
Grwp Cynefin (Wales)
Grwp Cynefin is a housing association in North Wales offering affordable housing in rural communities. It aims to be a catalyst for positive social change in communities in Wales. They have projects around preventing domestic abuse and homelessness as well as projects around housing, employment and language.
Mobisol provides low-income customers in developing country with solar energy systems for their homes. Depending on the size of these systems, they provide enough energy for various home appliances but also small businesses of the home owners which help them generate additional income.
Nottingham Energy Partnership (UK)
NEP provides an independent body to drive forward the climate change agenda. They are a platform for climate change prevention partnerships, working across all sectors within Nottingham. Within this role they work with partner agencies with the aim of alleviating fuel poverty and educating the public about energy efficiency, ensuring that those most in need achieve affordable warmth and a better quality of life.
Qi Chuang – Elderly Home Renovation Program (China)
Qi Chuang started its elderly home renovation program after two years of site visits to community care centers and the homes of elderly persons who live alone or are poor. They found various alarming safety concerns in 6 out of 10 homes they visited, including uneven floors, important passages and bathrooms without handrails and corroded wiring. They also discovered that in homes where the furniture is weighted or fixed in place, the fall rate is lower compared with homes with no renovation. As of March 6th,2015, the program had evaluated 137 homes and renovated 94 homes, in addition to improved hall passages in 3 public housing compounds for the elderly.
Website: http://www.qichuang.org/zh-cn/page/elderly-home-improvement-introduction (Chinese)
Solarkiosk targets bottom-of-the-pyramid communities where they operate the Solarkiosk E-Hubb, an energy center that can serve as an energy and business outlet for these communities using solar power.
TESE is a Non-Governmental Development Organization (NGO) that aims to support the sustainable development of deprived communities and regions in Portugal and in developing countries through the creation and implementation of innovative responses that best promote social development, equal opportunities and quality of life. In developing countries, including Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe, TESE Without Borders works in articulation with local partners, formulates and implements projects promoting the access to water, waste and energy services.