According to the EU Energy Poverty Observatory more than 50 million households in the European Union are struggling to attain adequate warmth, pay their utility bills on time and live in homes free of damp and mold. In the CEE region alone, the percentage of people unable to keep home adequately warm in 2016 ranged from 4,7% in Czech Republic to 41,3% in Bulgaria. On top of that, in 2017 the percentage of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the region was well above 20% in most of the countries, with higher figures in Romania (36%) and Bulgaria (39%).

The Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty Solutions Accelerator is an initiative co-created by Ashoka and the Schneider Electric Foundation, under the aegis of Fondation de France, with Enel Romania as local partner.

The aim of the program is to identify and support young innovative ideas and mature projects working in the field of energy poverty in five European countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. After two selection stages 15 finalists will be selected to join a 5-months acceleration program, which will help them improve their strategy and amplify their positive impact on society and on the environment.

After the final selection phase, one winner will be chosen for each country and will be awarded a prize of 3.500 euro.



Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries show ‘High’ to ‘Extreme’ levels of energy poverty, according to a new report released by the Right to Energy (R2E) Coalition on 20 February 2019. Collectively, these countries account for a large share of the estimated >50 million EU citizens who cannot afford enough energy to support their health and well-being.


Beside being one of the most polluted cities in Europe, Katowice was the host for COP24, where leaders and policy makers around the world gathered to talk about the future of our planet and take actions regarding climate change. This was the perfect stage to talk more pragmatically about issues regarding energy poverty in Europe and more specific, in Central and Eastern Europe.



Strategic Partners



At MOVE.BG we drive sustainable social impact via innovation and collaboration. We act as a platform to connect, inspire and accelerate local agents of change to create larger impact.
What we do:
Connect changemakers and provide space for community engagement and idea generation
Shape solutions for sustainable development through innovation and cooperation
Research the potentially successful sectors of the economy and set the trends
Educate by embracing the culture of sharing, collaboration and co-creation
Inspire others by showing the positive examples of change

Enel Romania is a leading private investor in energy, with operations in power distribution and supply as well as renewable energy production, active on the local market since 2005. The company has 3,100 employees and around 3 million business and household end users in the country. The E-Distributie companies operate a network of around 128,000 kilometres in three key areas of the country: Muntenia Sud (including Bucharest), Banat and Dobrogea, accounting for one third of Romania’s electricity distribution market, and are developing an investment programme aimed at securing a proper service for customers, improving the quality and security of the network while also complying with Enel’s environmental standards. Enel Energie and Enel Energie Muntenia are leading suppliers of energy in the country, and their offer includes both electricity and natural gas, as well as value-added services (assistance, lighting and others).

Network Partners

Network Partners are organizations that spread the word about the “Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty” program through their networks so that we can find and select the most innovative social entrepreneurs.



Checz Rebublic, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria


Ambassadors are individuals with knowledge of and expertise in the energy field who help us map the local ecosystem and nominate the most innovative social entrepreneurs to apply to join the “Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty” program.



Fülöp Orsolya

Energia Klub, Policy Director, Hungary

Barta Zsombor

The Hungary Green Building Council (HuGBC), President, Hungary

Lévai Gábor

GreenBrands CEO, Hungary

Communication Partners

Communication Partners are organizations that spread the word about the “Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty” program through the media so that we can optimize the number of social entrepreneurs we reach.