After five years of implementation, and now under its Open Power outlook, Enel Distribución has spearheaded a bidding process for community organizations to submit “Positive Energy” - born of the mission of establishing a close, fluid, and permanent relationship with the organizations that underpin our network of communities, under the “Enel in your Neighborhood” program.
In a bid to contribute to the world’s greatest sustainable development challenges and goals, Enel Distribución has taken on a number of commitments focused on education by bringing people closer to knowledge about energy. Here, two key objectives stand out: mitigating climate change with the implementation of new technology in homes, and promoting clients’ social and economic development with shared value projects that reward people.
Firing up the residents of Cerro Navia
Rosa Inostroza is head of two neighborhood organizations in Las Lomas, part of the Cerro Navia district. Life is complicated in this humble urban community, but the efforts and dedication of its mainly adult residents keep them fighting to improve quality of life for all, based on a sacred and nonnegotiable concept: unity.
The help of Enel Distribución, together with this deep-rooted sense of union, has brought success to the Las Lomas neighborhood group and the Las Palomas social, cultural, and sports group for mothers (both run by Rosa). These two organizations both won Positive Energy grants in 2015, funding actions that changed the neighborhood’s face.
The first was the installation of solar water heaters and panels at the Las Lomas community hall. “The panels benefited the neighborhood group by improving the setting, because we have a courtyard where we have a community center that is the only place where people can come for leisure, and it has a better area where children can play,” says Rosa Inostroza, adding that the center formerly had no power connection, and the panels can now be used for activities there such as meetings, zumba classes, active living classes for older people, theater workshops, and recycling.
“It was one of the first projects. We have natural hot water thanks to the panels. All to care for the environment with a grain of sand to be energy efficient. Here we can’t afford to pay a major power bill. This helped us by having it for free,” says Rosa with pride.
The other grant was awarded to solve a problem that had been dogging the community, trying without success to work with municipal authorities: the installation of efficient lighting in the Plaza Las Lomas. This LED lighting made the streets safe for families once again, and high crime areas shifted away, while the area also has a more appealing new look.
“We are very happy because there has been a 100% turnaround between how our area used to be and how it is now. We have grown hugely. Nobody ever dreamed we would be able to achieve everything you can see around you today. It’s wonderful, and there’s also a degree of commitment to the environment”, concludes Rosa Inostroza, adding that “other companies don’t do things like this. I hope that Enel Distribución will continue with these initiatives, because it’s beautiful when they help people. Without them we would not have achieved as much as we have.”
Las Lomas wants to continue to grow, and the doors of Enel Distribución have always been open to them. Today some 400 people have benefited directly from these initiatives, but Rosa believes that close to 800 visitors to the neighborhood have also been amazed at its new look. Indeed, this year they are once again applying for a Positive Energy grant, to provide heating and air conditioning at the community center.
Going out looking for help can open many doors - who knows, perhaps next year the locals can say goodbye to their electric fans and paraffin heaters. The magic is in creating shared value with people.