Gorona del Viento is working in partnership with the Red Cross on the “Education for energy saving” project. The aim of this is to enhance the employability of people on the island, and to contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of homes on El Hierro — based on activities to be undertaken with the most vulnerable families.

Gorona del Viento (the company that supplies electricity from the Wind-Pumped Hydro Power Station) has become involved in this initiative, and is supporting the Red Cross in the first phase of the programme. This involves training 17 participants from the employment scheme on energy saving, good practice in energy efficiency, identifying electrical risks in homes, and other topics. These will be the workers who will, in the future, carry out audits and implement preventative and remedial measures in those homes identified by the island’s social services as vulnerable — and within those disadvantaged communities requiring special attention.

The Red Cross is rolling out the project with the help of €230,000 funding from the El Hierro Island Council’s Department for Employment and Economic Development; it is drawing on the support of Gorona del Viento thanks to the company’s experience in education and awareness-raising activities aimed at reducing consumption, the efficient use of resources, etc.

It is worth pointing out that the company, through its Corporate Social Responsibility Plan, has already undertaken similar work with El Hierro’s schools, as well as with adults’ organisations and with the general public.

Both the Chief Executive Officer of Gorona del Viento, Santiago González, and technical staff from the company have spent several sessions in communication with the Red Cross programme team. In addition to the activity described above, those involved have also spent time learning about the operation of the Wind-Pumped Hydro Power Station and of the contribution that can be made to the island’s plans to protect the environment by raising the population’s awareness of energy saving and of the responsible use of resources and water.

During the training sessions, Santiago González also took the opportunity to explain to participants the proposed role of the new Office for Innovation and Sustainability which is being launched by the Gorona del Viento El Hierro. The Office is being set up to deal with requests for information and to offer assistance to residents interested in improving the energy efficiency of their homes; it will also work in partnership with companies and organisations in this area.