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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Spotlight on Energy | Neoenergia Group Back to the roots – dealing with poverty

Back to the roots – dealing with poverty

Neoenergia Group

Neoenergia Group Project Beneficiary
Project Beneficiary
Neoenergia Group is the third biggest private investor in the Brazilian electrical sector, with accumulated investments in Brazil of US$9.5 billion, earned since its constitution in 1997. The group acts in all energy production chains – generation, transmission, commercialisation and distribution. Consisting of 20 companies, located in eight states of the country, it employs 5,100 people and 16,310 contractors.

One effective way to confront climate change is by tackling poverty, both in terms of mitigation and adaptation. Investor, the Neoenergia Group, details how their work in low-income communities in the north east of Brazil is achieving this.

The company is substituting old refrigerators for new and efficient ones, certified with the Selo Procel label of energy efficiency, for residential consumers living in low-income communities in the states of Bahia, Pernambuco and small towns in Rio Grande do Norte. To participate, the consumer must fulfil criteria, such as an average consumption of energy over 70kWh/month, social energy tariff, be part of the government’s Social Programmes Registration and possess an old refrigerator for exchange. This project was recognised as an exemplary project at the Montreal Protocol Twentieth Anniversary Ozone Protection Awards.

Vale Luz and Ecocelpe are similar projects developed by utilities COELBA and CELPE. They collect scrap refrigerators from consumers with the above New Refrigerator Project. Their objective is to show the community their environmental responsibilities through exchanging domestic solid residues (recyclable trash) for discounts in the energy bill. This ties their consumption to their payment capacity and generates further income for the individual. In Bahia, the cooperatives have succeeded in recycling so much solid residue that it accounts for 1% of the region’s garbage.

Transformers – efficiency in disguise

An itinerary educational project uses a truck that transforms itself into a classroom, with the purpose of teaching energy efficiency and qualifying teachers in the Procel methodology. These teachers will become researchers and must apply statistical surveys in order to verify average consumption and the amount of equipment per residency within their area.

The objective of Selo Procel (set up by the National Electricity Conservation) is to promote more aware consumption of electricity by setting standards on electrical products, and showing which carry the highest levels of energy efficiency

The reforestation of the Atlantic Forest remnants and its threatened species is being helped by the Green Energy project. This targets residential consumers with an average consumption of over 100kWh/month; a monthly donation is debited on their energy bill, with costs varying from US$3-6, according to average monthly consumption. This is then passed on to the forest conservation institutions in Bahia, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte. Approximately 100 hectares of reforestation have been secured with this community support, leading to income generation and social, economic development for the local families.

The energy efficiency labelling project, follows the characteristics adopted with low-energy appliance labelling, but seeks to promote building projects which use the lowest energy consumption for illumination and natural ventilation. It is part of the Programa Brasileiro de Etiquetagem (PBE), Brazilian Labelling Programme, developed by Procel and Inmetro (Inmetro is a Brazilian government agency that measures and monitors, measures and weights of the products sold at millions of points of sale).

The projects are analysed during the development stage and after construction, receiving labels rated from A to E, according to energy consumption.

At this moment it only applies to buildings from the commercial, services and public sectors, though, in the near future, it will extend to residential buildings. In order to participate, buildings must be at least 500m2, or use over 2.3kV, including conditioned, partially conditioned and non-conditioned buildings.

Neoenergia Group logo
Neoenergia Group

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