In their first LSG meeting, REAN hosted a total of 14 representatives from the City of Varazdin, the regional branch of the Social Welfare Centre, the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets, energy think tanks, energy companies, an NGO working on mitigation of energy poverty challenges, and other institutions. The meeting involved short introductions and a presentation of the Social Green project to introduce (or re-introduce) stakeholders to the project and its goals for the 2021-2022 project period. Then, participants discussed the problem of energy poverty from their various perspectives. REAN presented on the proposed influence they intend to have on the National Policy instrument (Energy renovation of family houses owned by citizens at risk of energy poverty through rooftop solar PV installations) and described how their planned pilot action can help citizens and business owners in the City of Varazdin to improve their recovery from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

In the second half of the meeting, stakeholders engaged in a discussion around the lack of a clear definition of energy poverty in Croatia, the problems with availability of necessary information to conduct analyses of the problems, various funding opportunities for, and the impact of COVID-19 on the work of combatting energy poverty. The discussion will feed directly into the two-part self-assessment made by each Social Green project partner (including a SWOT analysis and an Impacts and Assurances assessment of the policy instrument).

Though the pandemic restrictions required the LSG meeting to be held online, REAN found that stakeholders were still actively engaged, but they hope to hold future meetings in person.