Urban Innovative Actions (UIA)

Urban Innovative Actions (UIA): FLAT Facilitating Lower Arrearage in Treviso public housing (project submitted on 31 January 2019, in evaluation)

Description

The actual scope of the project is to mitigate growing arrearage in bill payments, to alleviate debts currently covered by the Public Authorities and to enhance at the same time the quality of life and health in the domestic environment.

This goal is reached through two main actions: physical optimization of the buildings themselves with deep energy retrofit, and through a token exchange platform based on smart and friendly technology that allows lowest class residents to gain monetizable points doing useful actions for their community. Then tokens can be used to further reduce the flat rate up to zero.

Proposed Solution

The City of Treviso (TRV) thinks that arrearage management programs alone do not remove barriers for customers that fundamentally lack sufficient income to cover utility bills. These citizens typically need more assistance than the option to repay arrears over time. In our area, utilities cannot solve this problem alone, and one of the tools that offer promise is building a stronger link between energy efficiency services and ratepayers who often fall into arrears.

 

To the scope, the FLAT includes renovation works on public housing (ATER) in order to optimize the public services like energy (ASCO), waste management (CNT), water cycle (ATS), mobility (MOM) and make more affordable for vulnerable people to pay the bills. Participatory design and the involvement of the community (ISRAA) will drive residents towards a flat-rate price for the newly aggregated services. Also, a digital platform and app (INTL and UNIPD) will give citizens direct control of their consumption and will allow them to receive monetizable tokens for virtuous behaviors with the neighbors. Finally, a sustainable business model will be explored jointly by an E.S.CO (BIM) and the largest public energy provider of the area (ASCO).

 

In order to tackle the arrearage to nearly zero, we intend to work on a two towers public housing pilot case in Treviso (36 families), acting in two main directions:

 

  • Energy retrofit. The energy retrofit will cut energy consumption and the bills of at least 75%(see WP5 A5.1). The different services will be guaranteed (for average use) under a low-cost flat rate, that will be negotiated with inhabitants and related to the performance we can achieve within the budget for renovation works (WP7 Building Renovation Works). The performance of the renovated building, connected with an E.S.CO business model, defines an affordable flat rate bill for energy services.

 

  • Token incentives. Even with affordable bills, someone may not be able to pay them. We aim to incentivize this category of people through tokens that can be monetized and can further reduce the bills up to zero. Tokens are collected in a personal wallet in a dedicated app (see WP6) every time the inhabitant have positive behaviors towards the waste collection, water consumption, public mobility usage, and towards a list of actions she can voluntarily do in favor of the neighborhood (gardening, cleaning, maintenance, elderly small tasks, etc. see WP4 A4.3 for more details).

 

These actions will be developed with a large participatory involvement of the citizens living in the pilot case, to prepare and assist them to the operation phase of the solution that will take place at the third year of the project. At that point we are going to collect and analyze the big data harvested by the digital platform, to further optimize the solution and to measure the results (% of reduction of bill lateness). We are going to maintain the solution for at least one year after the end of the project.

Partners involved

Municipality of Treviso (Main Authority), ATER Treviso, University of Padova, Contarina S.p.A., I.S.R.A.A. – Institute for Elderly Assistance and Care, Mobilità di Marca, Bim Piave Nuove Energie, Ascotrade, Alto Trevigiano Servizi, Interlogica.