Meet DOOR - the leading partner of CEESEN-BENDER project

The Central and Eastern European Sustainable Energy Network (CEESEN) has embarked on a groundbreaking initiative in partnership with DOOR, a prominent Croatian organization focused on sustainability and renewable energy. The CEESEN-BENDER and CEESEU-DIGIT projects have the potential to significantly impact the green transition in the CEE region, and DOOR's role as a leading partner is crucial to its success.

DOOR - a champion of sustainability

DOOR (Društvo za oblikovanje održivog razvoja), or the Society for Sustainable Development Design, has a long-standing reputation as a champion of sustainability and renewable energy solutions in Croatia and the wider Central and Eastern European region. Their expertise and commitment to creating a more sustainable future have made them a natural choice for spearheading the CEESEN-BENDER project and participating as a partner in CEESEU-DIGIT project.

Leading a team of international experts for tackling energy poverty

From September 2023 to 2026, DOOR is leading partner of experts from Central and Eastern Europe cooperated in EU-funded CEESEN-BENDER project to empower and support vulnerable homeowners and renters living in Soviet-era multiapartment buildings in 5 CEE countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, Poland, and Romania. The project will help them through the renovation process by identifying the main obstacles and creating trustworthy support services that include homeowners, their associations, and building managers.

DOOR will make sure, that CEESEN-BENDER project will create a support system for homeowners, municipalities, and other large owners of multi-apartment buildings (MABs) in its targeted regions to speed up the renovation process. As a leading partner of the project, it will guide the team who will develop specific tools to help municipalities and large housing stock owners effectively identify energy poor households and implement schemes to reduce energy poverty. 

As a result, for the 5 pilot areas, the project experts will create at least 30 building-level roadmaps that specify the technical details for renovations, targeting at least 1.500 apartments, and form a network of at least 30 energy professionals trained in consulting the target groups. CEESEN-BENDER team will train at least 3.500 homeowners, landlords and building managers on legal, financial, technical and other aspects of energy renovations, and will advocate for changes of regulatory requirements and policies to lower the costs and time needed for the preparatory phase of projects.

Read more about CEESEN-BENDER project >>

As project coordinator in CEESEN-BENDER, DOOR will be responsible for the overall coordination and monitoring of project progress of all aspects of the work. The focus will be on timely delivery and evaluation of the outcomes based on the performance indicators – with all partners addressing their tasks diligently and pooling efforts to make the project a success. In addition, DOOR will be responsible for tasks in several work packages of the project while sharing their previous experiences in the field of energy poverty.

In CEESEN-BENDER, DOOR is represented by:

  • Miljenka Kuhar, executive director of DOOR and project manager
  • Matija Eppert, project coordinator
  • Tomislav Cik, project manager
  • Stella Turnšek, financial manager

In fact, DOOR has also participated in other CEESEN-related projects such as CEESEU-DIGIT, while contributing to the project as a project partner.

Read more about CEESEU-DIGIT project >>

DOOR's path to empowering communities with sustainable energy

DOOR was founded in 2003 as an NGO. Its mission is the promotion of sustainable development principles in all segments of society, at the local, regional and national level, primarily in the field of energy. DOOR's aim is accessible, affordable, sustainable, economically and positively environmentally acceptable energy that affects society in which not a single person or a single region is neglected. In achieving its goals, DOOR works to preserve the environment, achieve social justice, democracy, inclusion, economic sustainability and alleviating energy poverty.

DOOR continuously operates in the field of energy with a special focus on:

  • Energy and the environment,
  • Energy and society

Through its activities, DOOR promotes an inclusive energy transition and climate justice through the following long-term objectives:

  • Development of a low-carbon society
  • Promotion of energy efficiency
  • Promotion of sustainable use of renewable energy sources
  • Democratization of the use of renewable energy sources
  • Suppression of energy poverty
  • Monitoring the implementation of measures and the effect of the energy poverty program
  • Shaping and advocacy of evidence-based public policies
  • Promotion of topics in the field of inclusive energy transition and climate justice in public and media space
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Education of the general public on topics in the field of activity

In the coming years, DOOR will operate in the following strategic areas:

  1. Energy poverty: energy efficiency
  2. Renewable energy sources: energy communities and renewable energy communities and empowering citizens in the electricity market
  3. Climate changes: adaptation to climate change

The organization has successfully implemented more than 100 projects with goals ranging from climate change mitigation, encouraging citizens’ participation in sustainable energy policy-making, improving education about renewable energy sources, and alleviating energy poverty. Within the projects more than a hundred workshops, round tables, training, conferences and other public events were organized, attended by several thousand participants, a dozen manuals were published,  number of study trips organized and continuous cooperation with numerous organizations from Croatia and abroad was established. 

Currently, DOOR has 16 employees, 68 members and depending on current activities and requirements at times over 10 active volunteers. 

Find out more about DOOR >>

What is energy poverty and how to fight against it?

What is energy poverty and how to fight against it?

Energy Poverty should be first and foremost viewed as a multidimensional problem caused by low energy efficiency, high energy costs, and low income. But the effect energy poverty has on a society surpasses this triad of inputs. Let's explore the concept of energy poverty, why it's a pressing issue and how the CEESEN-BENDER project is going to tackle it.

Energy poverty is caused by a host of underlying social, economic and infrastructure factors. It lowers people’s quality of life, negatively affects their general state of health and wellbeing, leads to debt and social exclusion, and often creates a surge in household energy costs as well as carbon emissions. 

According to the recent Eurostat data on poverty and social exclusion from 2021, 21,7% or 95,4 million EU citizens were at risk of poverty and social exclusion, higher compared to 2019’s 92,4 million.

Why is it important to tackle energy poverty?

Addressing energy poverty is not only a matter of humanitarian concern but also a crucial step towards achieving sustainable development. 

Poor insulation, indoor moisture and mold, drafts, rotten window frames, leaky roofs, and low indoor temperatures all contribute to low life quality in energy-poor households, factors that are linked to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Besides wintertime energy poverty, uninsulated buildings in combination with climate change have resulted in increases in ambient night-time temperatures and frequency during prolonged heat waves, posing a rising threat to health and life in the summertime. Even when not causing morbidity or mortality events, overheating and the inability to keep homes cool during summer results in serious discomfort and stress for residents.

Buildings are responsible for 40% of Europe’s total energy consumption, and EU policy has prioritised the identification of dwellings and citizens at a higher risk of energy poverty in order to develop effective strategies for building renovation. In accordance with the energy efficiency first principle, building renovation must be prioritized when discussing the overall solution to energy poverty. In so doing, the least efficient building stock should be targeted first and split- incentive dilemmas and market failures should be addressed. Furthermore, addressing energy poverty, like energy transition in general, should be socially just and inclusive.

CEESEN-BENDER project: collective endeavor to combat energy poverty

International team behind the CEESEN-BENDER project is dedicated to mitigating energy poverty in the Central and Eastern European region. The main goal of the project is to empower and support vulnerable homeowners and renters living in Soviet-era multiapartment buildings in 5 CEE countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, Poland, and Romania. The project is funded by the LIFE+ Clean Energy Transition programme (2021-2027) under GA no 101120994. 

The project will help them through the renovation process by identifying the main obstacles and creating trustworthy support services that include homeowners, their associations, and building managers.

Read more about CEESEN-BENDER project >>



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