The experience has helped to reduce poverty, generate community development and has spread to other neighbourhoods with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Pro-Vivienda Social Foundation.
In the Cuartel V district of Buenos Aires, where 65% of the population live below the poverty line, Naturgy has helped to provide more than 20,000 people with access to cleaner, safer energy.
Because of its development contribution, the Cuartel V project has been awarded the prestigious Platts Award and has been studied by a number of universities and business schools.
The Cuartel V project has been a pioneer in many senses. In collaboration with the social housing foundation Pro-Vivienda Social, it established a new business model, which included the support of neighbourhood associations and introduced a new financing mechanism.
With a more proactive approach, the extension of the gas network to poorer neighbourhoods reflects a change in the company's traditional business model.
The project has also shown that social responsibility and business management can go hand in hand.
|Traditional model||New model|
|Contact with local residents through the contractor companies or intermediaries.||Direct contact with local residents, organisations, companies, the municipality and the business community.|
|Personalised treatment of each future customer (local resident).||Treatment of the neighbourhood's problems, active participation of organisations.|
|Consultation with local residents on issues related to means for recruiting people to carry out the work.||Consultation with the whole community on contracting for the works.|
|Mass commercial campaigns for customer intake, carried out through other companies and providers.||Use of tools and solutions adapted to the specific problems of the neighbourhood at a technical, economic and social level.|
|Lack of analysis on the saving equation for new customers||Control of consumption and promotion of domestic saving to help ensure payment for the works and service maintenance.|
|Use of sales forces and other external resources.||Training and development for installers from the neighbourhood: cost optimisation and better quality control thanks to the labour being provided by the community itself.|
Direct28,000 people, more than half the population, have benefited from the project.
The percentage of income spent on energy bills has been reduced from 14% to 3%.
Funding of the works in up to 84 payment instalments compared to the usual 36 for other customers.
Jobs have been created by hiring residents of the neighbourhood to complete the works and intake.
Access to a cleaner, safer source of energy, which includes heating systems.
Increase in the value of homes and access to property.
Development and strengthening of civic organisations in the neighbourhood.
Arrival of other public service companies.
For the companyOver 134 km of new network built up until 2016.
Investment from the start of the project, over €880,000 from the start of the project.
Identification and development of different financing alternatives that enable the development of the project to continue and speed up (participation of the FOMIN).
These customers generate a turnover of approximately $300,000 per year.
Due to its original approach to addressing infrastructure-related problems, Cuartel V has been used as a case study by different business schools (IAE, Universidad Di Tella, ESADE, University of San Diego, etc.).
There is also a chapter on the project in the book “Business Solutions for the Global Poor”, published by Harvard University's Business School.