Going Local - Kick-Starting the Economy

08 June 2020 - Published by Deirdre Buist 2
In a recent online meeting, Stronghouse partners updated each other on their differing national lockdown status. As the most stringent measures are gradually easing, we discussed the opportunities and challenges jointly faced in kick-starting the economy post Covid-19.

With a heightened awareness of our vulnerability and that of the planet, there are clear signs of a general shift in mindset towards climate resilience since we have witnessed the positive impacts on air quality and C02 emissions resulting from the lockdown. Now we face the serious challenge of reviving the economy and still reaching EU climate change targets. Finding a new balance. However, combining our climate change goals with exit strategies also offers real opportunities.

Community immunity

We recognize the power of cooperation – on all levels - international, national, and local. While profiting from full transnational exchange and the benefits of our national support systems in the energy transition, Stronghouse focusses on a community approach. Community immunity can be built not just against the current Corona virus but also by making our communities more sustainable for the future. This applies for energy, environment and economy.

Homeowners and locals

In times of great uncertainty, unemployment and a gloomy financial outlook, the economy must be stimulated. It is reassuring to know there are ways to get to grips with some of the global issues affecting us all, and every individual in a community can make a difference. The Stronghouse consortium sees that the contribution of homeowners is especially valuable right now. With the project’s support, this group can take own responsibility for sustainability and lead in kick-starting the economy by investing in the energy efficiency of their homes – using local contractors and the available subsidies. They can save money, reduce emissions, add to the value of their property and support the local community economically.

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Points taken

Concluding this energetic exchange session, the Stronghouse partners had some notable points to keep in mind in terms of the project’s aims and role in kick-starting the economy:

Homeowners

  • Engagement based on concerns, urgency, resilience, local and regional economy

Investment

  • Finding and providing alternative financial instruments – such as grants – help bypass reluctance to borrow in economically uncertain times.

  • Living and working from home: A higher energy consumption is an extra reason to invest in energy efficiency and renewable sources. Include additional home functions in the energy renovation calculation

New skills

  • New business opportunities: Possible new skills needed post Covid-19 lockdown.

  • Energy renovation offers interesting opportunities, e.g. energy advice/coaching, organizing, renovation, installation etc.

  • Support tradesmen and businesses in transit to energy renovation in homes.