For each other, for food and against energy inequality

This project focuses on tackling energy poverty through food banks. Collaborating with partners like Energie-U, JMA, and food banks in Utrecht, our aim is to develop an effective and innovative approach within the social domain. The creation of this approach includes involving students from the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. The project is supported by a KIEM grant and inspired by the Horizon 2020 project ENPOR.


Our project aims to combat energy poverty within the social domain, with a focus on food banks. We are investigating how an effective business-oriented approach to addressing energy poverty can be developed, including the implementation of an energy box, energy coaching, and energy handyman services.

"Some residents have a latent need for assistance in saving energy. We can make a difference for them, but reaching them effectively remains a challenge."

Jurgen Tielbeke
Environmental consultancy firm JMA


  • Inclusion of the social domain in the approach
  • Development of an effective communication strategy
  • Creation of a robust business plan
  • Evaluation with estimation of impact
  • Publication of findings and successes


01 September 2023 - 31 August 2024


The project is executed through analysing the current situation and conducting three design sprints focused on communication strategy, opportunities for collaboration with the social domain, and sustainable business models. Implementation aims for execution and monitoring.


We are open to your ideas and suggestions. Additionally, if you'd like to stay informed about developments related to this project, you can leave your details here.


For HU, the innovation question is groundbreaking, forging a connection between the social domain and the energy transition. The intended outcomes of this project contribute to the development of an approach to address energy poverty in professional practice, targeting specific groups (individuals facing multidimensional challenges) more effectively. Additionally, a stronger network is established, involving volunteers in neighbourhoods, energy handymen, fundraising, procurement, and storage of energy-saving measures.

HU researchers involved in the research

Related research groups


This project is carried out in cooperation with CoE Smart Sustainable Cities, JMA and Energie-U.

Environmental consultancy firm Jonge Milieuadvies (JMA) supports municipalities in achieving goals related to waste management, food waste, and sustainability. Their advice encompasses technical solutions, as well as organizational, social factors, and environmental considerations. The Energy Box is one of JMA's projects.

Energy cooperative Energie-U is a local energy movement where Utrecht residents drive, organize, and oversee sustainable energy and energy efficiency at home, in their neighbourhoods, and in the city of Utrecht. Energie-U boasts numerous energy ambassadors, energy handymen, and other volunteers in all neighbourhoods of Utrecht.

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?