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New electrical appliances for people at risk of poverty


Old household appliances often result in higher electricity bills - an additional burden if you have a low income. The Ministry of the Environment therefore offers people at risk of poverty free energy advice - some new devices are also available for free.


Regardless of whether it is an old refrigerator, stove or another old or even defective electrical appliance - they can become real energy guzzlers. This becomes noticeable at the latest when you look at the electricity bill. It's especially hard when money is already tight. For such cases, there is the Ministry of the Environment's “Energy Saving in the Household: Advice & Appliance Replacement” funding campaign.

Energy advice & device replacement

In addition to having a primary residence in Austria, one of the following requirements must be met:

Exemption from broadcasting fees

Receipt of the state's heating cost subsidy

Receipt of social assistance or compensation allowance

Receipt of housing assistance

Source: Caritas energy saving advice

The funding is implemented by the Caritas social counseling centers. Advice can take place over the phone, online or in the advice centers. This is followed by a brief inventory of the customers: First, the water temperature is measured to see whether it is not too high - because that too costs energy unnecessarily. Then we move on to the devices that may need to be replaced.

If a device is actually old and inefficient, an application for the device replacement is filled out. It then takes around four to six weeks for the device to be delivered. The old device is picked up and disposed of, the new one is installed and explained. There are no costs for customers.

One large household appliance per household

But not all devices are replaced - vacuum cleaners, TVs, coffee machines or blenders, for example. “We can only exchange large household appliances. These are electric stoves, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, freezers and deep freezers,” explains Wolfgang Studeny, energy saving consultant at Caritas, to One device per household is exchanged.

The free funding is available to people with low incomes. All those who are exempt from the broadcasting fee or who receive a heating subsidy from the federal states, housing assistance, social assistance or compensation assistance are eligible. If none of this assistance is received, the social counseling center can also assess the household's entitlement and authorize it to do so.

30 million euros per year

30 million euros were budgeted for the campaign for 2023, and any excess costs were to be carried into 2024. 30 million euros in funding are also planned for the next three years - so in total, including 2023, the total will be 120 million euros. According to an annual report from the ministry, there have been 4,119 initial consultations, 3,091 energy saving consultations and 2,884 device deliveries since the start up to December 12th.

Washing machines have so far made up around a quarter of appliance deliveries (26 percent or 750 units). Another quarter (24 percent) of the exchanged devices were refrigerators and freezers, while electric stoves/ovens were exchanged at 16 percent and pure refrigerators at 15 percent. The rest went to freezers (eleven percent) and dishwashers (eight percent).

High savings on electricity costs

With an estimated electricity price of 40 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and an average consumption of the new device of 150 kWh per year, according to the Ministry of the Environment, electricity costs can be up to 100 euros per year per device compared to a heavily consuming old device (assuming 350 to 400 kWh). be saved. The annual CO2 saving potential for the previously replaced refrigerators/freezers alone is around 20 tons of CO2.


The article comes from and has been slightly modified

The link will take you to the Caritas Lower Austria website, where you just have to select the region and click on the confirmation of the region.



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