One in five families in Belgium can barely pay their energy bill. A third of those families use energy-hungry household appliances. This drives up their energy bills and leads to even more financial problems. Since 2018, the Papillon project has provided no fewer than 73 families from the Westhoek with 130 household appliances with an A++ or A+++ label (new label C to E) for a period of ten years.
Fighting energy poverty
Thanks to Papillon, families in energy poverty can enjoy lower energy consumption and a lower energy bill for a monthly rent around 7 euros.
Papillon not only supplies equipment, but also provides tips and advice. Community workers from SAAMO West-Flanders help participants interpret their energy bills and give tips on how to reduce their energy costs even further. They also jointly examine the theme of living quality.
“Thanks to the tips and the economical appliances that I now have, I can keep my energy and water bill low.”
Service and warranty are included for the entire rental period of 10 years. At the end of the contract, supplier Bosch will take the devices back for reuse or recycling.
“Because maintenance and replacement are included, tenants don’t have to worry about unexpected costs.”
-community worker, Stefan
In the fight against climate change
Energy measures to achieve climate goals are often tailor-made for the middle class. But Papillon shows that you can also use them to tackle social problems such as poverty.
Community workers use their experiences from the Papillon project to weigh in on Flemish and Belgian policies on energy poverty.
Expansion to Flanders and Belgium
The Papillon model received a lot of attention and has already won several prizes, including that of Radicale Vernieuwers in 2019. Papillon appeals to CPAS and local authorities in Flanders to jointly rent out 550 energy-efficient household appliances to families in energy poverty. At the moment there are agreements with Nieuwpoort, Veurne, Ieper, Koekelare, Heuvelland, Beerse, Oudenaarde, Kruisem, Pelt, Antwerp, Ninove and Hasselt. Discussions are underway in many other municipalities. An expansion to the whole of Belgium is even in the offing.
“The intention is to expand the project even further to Walloon and Brussels families, with 2,000 to 4,000 devices per year. There is also international attention for the project within BSH Home Appliances, but first we focus on our country.”
– Project Manager at BSH Home Appliances nv, Bruno