Rental of energy-saving household appliances by people living in poverty
Samenlevingsopbouw West-Vlaanderen leases 100 household appliances to people who have pending energy bills and are stuck with energy-guzzling appliances at home.
This is done through the local PCSWs in the Westhoek region. The appliances leased are fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers, washing machines, driers and dishwashers, all of the same brand, namely Bosch. This project, called Papillon, aims to fight energy poverty through the principles of the circular economy. The lease contracts have a ten-year duration. Maintenance and guarantee are included in the price. Every household pays approximately 7 euro a month for this service. Once a year, Samenlevingsopbouw pays the lease fees collected to BSH Home Appliances, which remains the rightful owner of the appliances. Following the rental period, the appliances are returned to Bosch for reuse or recycling.
This is the first circular economy experiment by Bosch. The brand hopes to integrate circularity in the design of its new appliances so as to reduce the massive accumulation of waste and to promote durable repairs. Following an initial learning phase, the idea is to roll out the project in the rest of Flanders. Meanwhile, several European cities have been approached and have shown an interest in applying this model too.