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Consumers (15-12-2009)

Consumer education site now covers sustainable consumption and utilities

The European Commission and its partners in the European Universities Continuing Education Network (EUCEN) have launched two new modules of DOLCETA, an online consumer education tool. The two new modules are dedicated to sustainable consumption and to services of general interest (such as telecoms, energy, transport, water supply and postal services).

Below are just some examples of what consumers can learn online thanks to the new content:

  • A sustainable home: how to make big savings on your energy bills and help tackle climate change when buying furniture or home appliances;
  • Carbon offsetting: how to compensate for the carbon dioxide emissions which you produce when driving your car, flying or even using your computer;
  • Choosing an energy supplier: how to check if you are getting a good deal from your electricity or gas supplier? What to look out for when deciding to switch supplier?
  • Mobile phone services: what to think about when choosing an operator?

Developed by the European Commission in partnership with EUCEN, Dolceta ( is designed to be used by trainers in adult education, in primary and secondary schools, as well as for training or reference work by consumer organisations, government agencies, by NGOs or community education programmes. The DOLCETA modules include resources for teachers and trainers, such as lesson plans and quizzes for different age groups. It is also useful as a self-training tool for adults who want to be more empowered and better informed as consumers.

Dolceta in now available in all official EU languages and the content has been localised by national partners to reflect local realities and laws.

In total, DOLCETA now includes the following modules:

  • Basic consumer rights and where to get help in case of problems;
  • Financial services;
  • Product safety;
  • (new) Sustainable consumption;
  • (new) Services of general interest;
  • Resources for teachers of all levels (primary, secondary and adult education).

Forthcoming modules are:

  • Financial literacy: to be available in spring 2010; It will tackle consumer issues such as the family budget, mortgage loans, saving and investment.
  • Food safety: to be available in March 2011.

Dolceta is part of a broader drive by the European Commission to empower EU consumers by raising their awareness of consumer rights. Other EU initiatives in consumer education include the EU Masters' Programme in Consumer Affairs and the Europa Diary for school students and teachers.

DOLCETA key numbers: 27 countries, 20 languages, 1080 national experts, more than 700.000 web pages!

To test your knowledge or find out more see:

For more information about DOLCETA, contact Ginette Nabavi at
For press and communication issues, contact Piotr Kwiecinski at