AMeG: How can migrants be more effectively mobilised for energy-efficiency upgrades and energy savings?

New communication channels have been tested in Dortmund under the umbrella of the AMeG project in order to improve the ways in which property owners and tenants with a different migration background are addressed. The aim of the project was to improve the distribution of general information on energy-efficiency upgrading and energy saving, and to increase the uptake of existing consulting services and support programmes.

The city of Dortmund aims to cut its 1990 CO2 emission levels by 40 per cent by 2020. This can only happen if everyone joins in. Energy consumption in privately-used buildings is an area that offers particularly large savings potential. About one third of the migrants in Germany live in their own properties and are therefore an important target group for municipalities. Migrants are often difficult to reach by means of the traditional tools for environmental and consumer consulting. The “AmeG” project (Aktivierung von MigrantInnen zur energetischen Gebäudesanierung / mobilisation of migrants for energy-efficiency upgrades) is helping to point out and establish routes for successfully delivering consulting services. Moreover, awareness of the services available in Dortmund was raised significantly.

Engine for progress:

  • Other sectors of the population successfully mobilised
  • Making energy consulting more effective
  • Transferable knowledge gain for municipalities and science

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Photo: Stadt Dortmund

Support from many sides

The Mercator foundation supported this research project as part of the Energiewende Ruhr (Energy Transition Ruhr) programme from May 2014 to June 2016. The project was carried out in Dortmund, led by the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences at Fachhochschule Dortmund – University of Applied Sciences. One important partner for the project on addressing migrants, particularly with the fellow citizens originally from Turkey, was the Essen-based ZfTI foundation (Zentrum für Türkeistudien und Integrationsforschung / Centre for Studies on Turkey and Integration). The environmental agency of the city of Dortmund provided key structures and specialist expertise through the stationary energy consulting of the dlze (Dienstleistungszentrum Energieeffizienz und Klimaschutz / service centre for energy efficiency and climate protection).

Addressing people through the right channels brings results

The informational events in the AMeG project on the topics of energy savings in the household as well as construction and renovation were tailored to the target groups: For people of Turkish origin, they were held in German and Turkish and for the target group of those with non-Turkish migration backgrounds, in German with English and French interpretation as well as in German with Arabic interpretation. The project team gained access to the African community for the first time. Through the AMeG project, awareness of the dlze was raised significantly and the dlze’s number of visitors with migration backgrounds was significantly increased. The results achieved in the project can be directly applied to the design of mobilisation projects in other cities.

Basic insights were also gained on how to mobilise people with a migration background regarding energy efficiency topics – insights that are widely transferable. For example, it was clearly shown that the frequently selected mode of address targeting district level (district centres, neighbourhood management) does not reach the citizens with migration backgrounds effectively. Modes of address and access that avail of the existing social systems for migrants are more successful. A brief and concise summary of these and other results is provided in the guidelines for partners in practice.

Photo: Stadt Dortmund

“The aim of the project was to develop and directly implement a culturally-adapted way of addressing and consulting with migrants on energy-efficiency upgrades and to provide this as a set of concrete recommendations for action for partners in practice, thus making the results available so that others can use them over the long term.”

Gabriele Mallasch, Climate Protection Manager of the City of Dortmund

Partners and sponsors

  • Fachhochschule Dortmund - Fachbereich Angewandte Sozialwissenschaften
  • Stadt Dortmund Umweltamt
  • Stiftung Zentrum für Türkeistudien und Integrationsforschung
  • Mercator Stiftung

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