Rising Energy Costs, Social Consequences and Climate Protection

In conjunction with ifeu, ISOE examined how increased energy costs impact on recipients of Unemployment Benefit II, social allowance and social benefits.

Research approach

The project team carried out an exploratory project on the increase in energy costs and the consequences for Germany's low-income households. The aim was to show the need for and scope for action in view of rising energy prices. Besides analysing documents, this also involved evaluating statistical data and interviews with experts from different fields.

The team examined the municipal aspects using the example of Frankfurt am Main. From a climate protection perspective, scientists devised possible action strategies for the efficient use of energy in the relevant households. To this end the project team analysed factors that inhibit households when it comes to reducing their energy consumption and energy costs. 


The prices for heating energy rose on average by 106 per cent from 1998 to 2006.  Households on low incomes were particularly affected by this development. Offers of advice on energy consumption for such households on Unemployment Benefit II or social benefits were coming up against countless barriers. The study showed that gearing offers to specific target groups could indeed lead to success.
In successor projects, ISOE analysed the Cariteam-Energiesparservice (energy-saving service) run by Caritas Frankfurt e.V. In Caritem II it looked at the advice imparted via the service, whereas Cariteam III focused on the potential of the offering for the labour market.

Project partner

ifeu – Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg GmbH (Lead)




2006/08 – 2006/11

Contact person

 +49 69 7076919-19

Project team