Habitação A+ is a project that aims to support and raise awareness among citizens for actions that lead to the reducing of energy and water consumption, through behavioural change as well as possibilities in home and appliances improvement, which increase efficiency and optimize consumption without compromising comfort.
The project includes close interaction with households including a survey resulting in custom reports per dwelling and the offering of sample equipment for efficient water and energy use (e.g., LED lamps, water efficient fittings).
The collected information and experiences resulted in a published and downloadable brochure (“Good Practice Guide”) for dissemination and quick reference with efficient resource use tips, from energy to water and waste.
MatosinhosHabit is the municipal company responsible for the management of the public housing stock in the Municipality of Matosinhos, which is an associate municipality of AdEPorto, the regional energy agency for the Porto Metropolitan Area North of the Douro River. MatosinhosHabit develops a close support and communication to the population towards social integration and the continued improvement of quality-of-life standards.
The Habitação A+ project was developed to reach the most households possible among AdEPorto associate municipalities and the Municipality of Matosinhos, through MatosinhosHabit was among the first municipalities to implement the project in tight collaboration with AdEPorto.
In Matosinhos, a total of 532 dwellings in 4 Social Housing Complexes were targeted, resulting in a total of total of 146 interventions.
During the visits to the dwellings in the selected urbanizations, surveys were made relating to:
• Type of glazing and shading;
• Electricity, natural gas and water contracts, and actual consumption;
• Temperature and Relative Humidity measurements in all divisions of each home;
• Indoor Air Quality parameters measurement in sample dwellings;
• Equipment presence and use, such as kitchen equipment (e.g., refrigerator, oven, etc.) electrical and electronic equipment (e.g., televisions, computers, etc.), and heating or cooling equipment, among others;
• Habits and tips for improvement, with a view to improve consumption and costs;
• Thermal comfort indicators analysis.
At the end of the study the families were provided with a personalized report for their home and household and a LED Lamp.
For strengthening, ensuring replication and sustainability of the results MatosinhosHabit, in partnership with AdEPorto, conducted training sessions targeting MatosinhosHabit staff in more close contact with the population and has also included the “Good Practice Guide” in the “Tenant Manual” available for Public Social Housing tenants.
Habitação A+ tackles resource sustainability issues, with a special focus on energy and water use, and was, in a first phase, directed to more economically vulnerable population and issues relating to possible energy poverty situations.
The aim is also towards bridging literacy gaps in energy and water efficient use while raising awareness in a very close and personalized process. During the visits, when the survey was carried out and according to the collected answers or observed behaviour, some first friendly “tips” are discussed, and good practice examples are shared.
Subsequently, in addition to the personalised report that each of the participating families received, a list of dwellings signalling potentially more vulnerable situations was created at request of MatosinhosHabit for a closer follow-up.
The project allowed to get greater insight into the living conditions of the participating families towards resource use habits, behaviours and used equipment, as well as a general picture of thermal comfort conditions. This characterization also added further understanding relating to the need of the ongoing building renovation projects promoted by MatosinhosHabit and the Municipality of Matosinhos, which are expected to bring significant improvements to existing infrastructures.
MatosinhosHabit conducted first approaches to the involved Social Housing Complexes for verifying project results but, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the project ex-post monitoring had to be paused.
• More informed population;
• Provided targeted support for each home;
• Improvement of thermal comfort conditions in the home;
• Economic and resource savings;
• Project with a strong social component of support and contact with most vulnerable population;
• Bringing MatosinhosHabit closer to its target audience in its mission for social integration and continued improvement of the population’s quality of life.