is located in centre of Latvia (total population 2076050). Jelgava is 4th largest city in Latvia with population 60645. There are 21 467 working places in Jelgava, of which 55% are occupied by residents from Jelgava and 45% by residents from the surrounding areas.

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Sociodemographic characteristics

Total population, updated 2020/2021: 60645 inhabitants

  • Population age structure: Under working age 17,2%; Working age 61,1%; Over working age 21,7%.
  • Most of the residential buildings in Jelgava (79%) were built in the time period from 1960 to 1989.
  • The energy-efficiency of the residential homes is poor which means that high energy consumption is inevitable in the absence of reconstruction and/or insulation.

Jelgava is a city in central Latvia with almost 60645 inhabitants.  18,2%, are under working age, 60,7% in working age and 21,1% retired Most of the residential buildings in Jelgava (79%) were built in the time period from 1960 to 1989. The energy-efficiency of the residential homes is poor which means that high energy consumption is inevitable in the absence of reconstruction and/or insulation.

Energy poverty in our city.

Latvia has a lower performance than the EU average on the population-reported indicators. In 2018, 7.5% of Latvians reported that they were unable to keep the home adequately warm while the corresponding EU average is slightly lower at 7.3%. Similarly for 2018, 11.6% were unable to pay their utility bills on time, while the respective EU average is significantly lower at 6.6%.

In Latvia, the number of people that are unable to keep their home adequately warm decreased from 29.8% in 2005 to 7.5% in 2018. These major improvements might be attributed to the positive development of the Latvian economy and standard of living since joining the EU in 2004. The were major improvements in energy poverty after joining the EU in 2004. However, the decline slowed down and partly reversed in the years following the financial crisis of 2008.

Due to its cold climate Latvians have a high energy usage for heating. Combined with a median income that is well below the EU median (about a third of EU median in 2015), this leads to a much larger share of energy expenditure of income in Latvia than in the EU average. In 2015, the poorest quintile spent 14% of their income on energy expenditure, compared to 7% in the European Union as a whole. This indicates that a relatively high share of the Latvian population is at risk of being energy poor.

People living in social housing are twice as likely to be unable to keep their home warm as people who own their house or rent it freely on the market. The data also indicates that the 66% of the population living in apartments are more likely to be affected by energy poverty than the 31% living in detached houses.

Our vision of energy poverty

According to the Energy law of the Republic of Latvia, a household affected by energy poverty means a household that complies with at least one of the following:

  1. it has been recognised as a poor or disadvantaged household and receives material support to cover expenditure related to the use of housing;
  2. it rents a residential or social apartment owned or rented by the local government.

The goal is to identify and successively reduce the number of households affected by energy poverty.

Currently in Latvia, support for households affected by energy poverty is mainly available within the framework of social assistance provided by local governments. Local governments should, where necessary, provide the guaranteed minimum income level for all persons in the household and provide housing benefits (different sizes and conditions in each municipality) to households, thereby providing support to cover heating costs.

The project, therefore, aims to use an information technology programme to help analyse the conditions of households, such as the temperature in the apartment, in order to minimise heating, electricity costs for households.

The identification of households living in poor, disadvantaged households benefiting at the same time an apartment allowance granted by the local government and persons living in social housing as affected by energy poverty can be statistically identified through administrative registers. 141 households included in the registers will be monitored by the Smart City IT solution programme (energy audits). This requirement will ensure that the energy efficiency of buildings with households affected by energy poverty, equipment and spaces will be improved and heating and energy supply business bills will be reduced.

Activities to be implemented

  1. Training for the staff regarding energy efficiency and analysis of data accumulated.
  2. Smart city & monitoring system development in order to monitor different indicators, e.g., temperature, electricity supply and in order to maintain an adequate temperature in the household.
  3. 3 workshops for intervention group; 2 workshops for the control group; 2 general events for citizens; 2 project’s meetings
  4. Energy audit for 146 households
  5. Installation of energy-efficient lighting in 146 households and one preschool education institution
  6. Health control devices (peak flow, pulse oxymetry, blood pressure and sleep quality)
  7. Posters, informational brochures and publicity in the press etc.
  8. Lecturers in events and external expert enrollment