A blockchain distributed network that automates the operation of the process of energy poverty associated with the vulnerable citizens
Since 2016, the figure of the vulnerable consumer was established in the Spanish regulation (RDL7/2016) in response to the 4.5 million people who were at risk of energy poverty, establishing 3 categories of severity of said risk and based on which they had a social energy bonus, a discount on their energy bills of 25-40%. To access the social energy bonus, the citizens must request it and present documentation to the Social Services of the City Councils, where it is analysed and, if it is approved, they would benefit from a discount on the electricity bill. The energy poverty management is a slow, inefficient and time consuming process for all the parties involved.
CONFIA project shares all the communication related to cut-off notices, debt and payments of energy poverty citizens between all the parties involved in the process (Social Services from the City Councils, Regional Communities and Electricity Companies). To be able to do this a blockchain system (software) shares the information in real time, with all the parties, encrypted on a distributed network platform with security, traceability, immutability, reliability and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and the right to be forgotten.
This project has been awarded by the European Digital Mindset Awards of the Digital Enterprise Show (DES) as finalist in the category “Best Digital Accelerator, Public Sector”, finalist of ASLAN as “Technology in Social Services”.
Outsorced software of more than 400 k€ and 2 years of a team made up of more than 20 experts from Endesa, Malaga City Council, Izertis, University of Malaga and AYESA.
The project has been financed by ENDESA with a grant from Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía of 61 k€ and with a loan of 115 k€.
Evidence of success
CONFIA network is up and running on IBM’s blockchain with:
• 7 City Councils have signed an agreement to adhere to the environment and it is expected that at least another 2 will be added during August. With the current adhered City Councils, we would have 35,000 contracts managed per year that could carry out a process in real time that now takes at least 2 months.
• 86 people from Social Services received training sessions.
• 2.100 vulnerable families will be benefitted.
• Other electric companies might want to develop their own system non-compatible with CONFIA
• There is a need of a few city councils to be cost effective
Potential for learning or transfer
CONFÍA started in Malaga as a pilot and there are 86 Social Service users testing the blockchain system. Once verified, it can be extended from Andalusia to Canary & Balearic Islands, and finally to all Spanish regions.
The project shows an important use case of Blockchain networks. A new kind of blockchain network is emerging combining permissioning with a decentralized governance model. Public-permissioned blockchain networks bridge the gap between public-permissionless blockchain networks and private consortium networks. This blockchain network that shares information between city councils, autonomous communities and energy companies can open a new way of interchange of information to develop new use cases between public and private organizations.
This good practice is replicable in any region that has a vulnerable citizens that can benefit from the current regulation that finances the cost of electricity supply where different parties share information.
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