Low-income households are especially suffering from ever increasing electricity prices. The current cost for these households could, however, be reduced in particular through the exchange of inefficient refrigerators. Nevertheless, low-income households often lack the necessary financial resources to buy an energy-efficient refrigerator.
To tackle this problem, the Wuppertal Stadtwerke (public services) set up the refrigerator exchange program. As part of a combined premium and financing model, low-income households were given the opportunity to exchange their old refrigerators for efficient new ones. The pilot project was launched in December 2012. By September 2013, 58 households had participated in the program.
The aim of this evaluation commissioned by the Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Affairs of NRW was to draw lessons from what had been achieved. The evaluation was methodically based on three focus group discussions with representatives of low-income households. Additionally, a telephone survey of households participating in the program was conducted and the results analyzed.