The Automatic Social Energy Tariff, hereinafter mentioned as ASET, is an innovative way to provide social protection and is a tangible example of how technology can aid the government in improving citizens’ lives.
Although reduced tariffs for economically vulnerable citizens have been in place since 2010, their impact was minor due to, mainly, two major factors:
First, the unawareness of this prerogative, as communication was poorly handled and many citizens did not know that they could, indeed, have access to reduced prices on their energy services.
Second, the heavy administrative burden put on the citizens, who had to request the social tariff and make proof of their vulnerability, which often amounted to several trips to different public entities and, most often, expenses with either transportation, missed working hours and, of course, the several services performed in order to acquire proof.
The automation of the process, managed by making use of the national interoperability platform, completely changed the dynamics and brought an increase of 400% in the number of households benefiting from the Automatic Social Energy Tariff.
Evaluating the eligibility criteria is now an automatic process that crosses data from the Tax Authority and Social Security – in a completely anonymised process, returning a binary reply to energy supplies that merely informs them if the client is entitled to ASET, obliging them to change the tariff and inform the clients if it’s the case.
Although the interoperability platform is in use since 2007 for many different projects, the visibility and impact of this particular project have been such that the overall process has been implemented in other areas such as gas, water supply and wastewater management.
The main objective of Automatic Social Energy Tariff is to ensure that all those households in a situation of socio-economic vulnerability, have access to affordable, reliable and safe energy services by lowering the burden of their energy bills.
The emphasis here actually is on “all” households, as the policy had been in place for 6 years already. The main issue was that not many families were benefiting from it, and the automation of the all process solved the issue completely.
On a grander scale, this project follows several eGovernment policies enacted by the Portuguese government on the use of the national interoperability platform and the prosecution of the once-only principle, aiming at making the Portuguese Public Administration more effective, efficient and mostly seamless whenever possible.
|Award category:||new solutions to complex challenges - a public sector citizen-centric, sustainable and fit for the future - european or national level|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||social protection, energy services, seamless government|
|Short English description:||The Automatic Social Energy Tariff, hereinafter mentioned as ASET, is an innovative way to provide social protection and is a tangible example of how technology can aid the government in improving citizens’ lives.|
|Organisation:||AMA - Administrative Modernisation Agency|
|Level of government:||national level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||>15|
|EU membership:||EU member|