Day 13
22 kg of CO₂ are saved in one household in Mannheim, Germany.

Save energy – Protect the climate Save energy – Protect the climate

Energy saving inspections for low income households – over 100,000 have already been ‘checked’.

Germany is one of the richest countries in the world, although, not all citizens benefit from this wealth. One in seven households in Germany is considered ‘poor’ or ‘at risk of poverty’. At the same time, Germany attempts to be a pioneer in the field of climate protection. It is often argued that ambitious climate protection policies are not socially compatible. Yet, the opposite is proven true by the ‘energy saving inspections’ of Caritas Mannheim.



Reduction of fossil fuel consumption and employment opportunities for the long-term unemployed



Energy saving inspections are carried out by long-term unemployed citizens.

Countable effort


Amount of CO₂ emissions (in tons) that have been saved by the project



Number of households that were able to reduce their energy consumption with the help of the energy saving inspections

Systemic effect


The energy saving inspections provide long-term strategies to reduce the CO₂ emissions.


Being unemployed can mean much more than not having a job. The people affected by unemployment often feel socially excluded and miss opportunities to take part in the societal life. For several years now, Caritas Mannheim is committed to promoting employment. Caritas’ campaign against unemployment includes the worker-placement in the primary job market, as well as training and qualification building for new job perspectives. With the ‘energy saving inspections’ project, Caritas is broadening its efforts. The mission of the project is to train long-term unemployed citizens to become energy saving aides. These aides conduct the ‘energy saving inspections’ in low income households and demonstrate ways to reduce the consumption (and costs) of energy and water. Caritas aims to establish the project on a long-term basis in Mannheim.

The good deed

The Caritas Mannheim e.V. association has been awarded the ‘Wirkt’ Seal (German: ‘works/has an effect’) by PHINEO for its exemplary work. Caritas’ success in the ‘energy saving inspections’ project relies on its inclusive approach: utilizing long-term unemployed citizens to help low income households save money and CO₂ emissions. Training long-term unemployed citizens to become energy saving aides represents an important contribution to reintegrate long-term unemployed into the working environment. The selection of participants is carried out in close coordination between the Federal Labor Office and charitable organizations. Naturally, the energy saving aides pass an intensive training course before visiting the households. As part of the project, all households that enroll in the energy saving inspections meet twice with the aides. During the first visit, energy, heating and water bills are analyzed. Furthermore, the aides take an inventory of the major electronic devices and measure their energy consumption. Based on this analysis, the aides compile an individual energy saving plan. This includes material devices that are provided free of charge such as switchable power outlets, TV-standby-turn offs, restrictors, automatic timers, and thermostops. The energy saving aides provide the devices and install them in the households. At the end of the second consultation, the aides present the results of their consumption analysis as well as further recommendations on how the household can steadily decrease its energy consumption with simple adjustments.


A challenging part of the project is to find appropriate participants to carry out the ‘energy saving inspections’. Furthermore, the fund raising for the project remains an important task.

City of Mannheim, Germany







Number of inhabitants

44,999 USD

44,999 USD

Gross domestic product per capita per year



Human Development Index

Germany is one of the few European countries aiming to completely withdrawing from nuclear energy.

About the organization and further information


Caritasverband Mannheim e.V.

PHINEO Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft

Further information and source