The 'positive energy families' challenge tackles the energy savings that can be achieved by changing the behaviour of individuals.
The 'positive energy families' challenge tackles the energy savings that can be achieved by changing the behaviour of individuals. It is adapted to provide a solution for people in situations of isolation or fuel poverty and to pave the way for other actions to improve energy efficiency.

It takes the form of a competition that encourages teams of families to save energy through everyday actions. They progress together with a facilitator and a specially trained volunteer "captain" to assist the householders during the heating season. They are equipped with a guide of 100 eco-gestures, measuring equipment and a web platform to monitor their consumption. Events are scheduled by the organiser (initial, mid-term and closing) or participants (meals, games, etc.).

The project allows households to save at least 8% of energy, on average € 200 / year. They deepen their knowledge and understanding of their mechanisms of consumption. A real emulation is often created between families. Actions are both individual and collective in the sense that they create a community of practices. Investments are envisaged in most cases.
The main stakeholders are ADEME, the Normandy region, the Energy Information Spaces, the communities and the voluntary families. The main beneficiaries of this practice are families.

Resources needed

On average 300€ per family is needed for one season working.
Human resources :
• A professional group leader
• A genuine implication of the local organisers (public bodies, social housing providers, companies…) with a manager supervising the actions.

Evidence of success

In 2015 in France, 8000 families registered in 120 territories, ie more than 25 000 people (10% of the affected public is in precarious situation) for 12% of savings. About 50% of the participants then commit themselves to more heavy investments (insulation of the attic, change of windows, water heaters, boiler, etc.).

In the county of la Manche, there is an average saving of 18%. We do not have any visibility on the sustainability of these behaviours in the long term.

Difficulties encountered

In the county of la Manche, some local authorities have withdrawn during the annual repetitions of the project. Some families also register but do not participate to the end. Organizers sometimes have difficulty creating the desired training effect.

Potential for learning or transfer

The functioning of the practice is based on animation and teaching, which facilitates exchanges between families. Energy savings can be achieved by expanding consumer knowledge.

Originally designed for groups of neighbours, the project has been extended to corporate communities or groups of tenants of social landlords. The SCIC Les 7 Vents can give evidence of its experience in this field.

Several European countries have been represented in the two ‘energy neighbourhoods’ projects. However, such an action does not yet exist in all the regions of the European Union, so it has considerable potential for development.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
SCIC les 7 Vents
Basse-Normandie, France
Start Date
January 2018
End Date


Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by