Energy poverty, often defined as a situation where individuals or households are not able to adequately heat or meet other required energy services in their homes at affordable cost, is a problem across many Member States. Multiple drivers of energy poverty – rising energy prices, recessionary impacts on national and regional economies, and energy inefficient homes – make this a challenging problem both to understand and address. At the national or European level, a range of indicators across these drivers are required to get a high level understanding of the problem, which can then be used to help develop and target policies and measures.
Research suggests that energy poverty has important consequences if not addressed, from increased health impacts, to further entrenching poverty, to making tackling other priorities more difficult e.g. addressing climate change. Indicators from the EU-SILC survey suggest that some 11% of the European population are unable to keep the homes adequately warm. Other evidence points to particularly high levels of energy poverty in specific regions of Europe, including Central Eastern Europe and Southern Europe. Much of our current understanding, however, is based on proxy indicators, relating to consensual survey based approaches. While these have provided a useful basis for highlighting the problem, it is evident that further development of indicators is required to inform both the European Commission and Member States of the actions that are needed.
Trinomics has been awarded a study contract by the European Commission’s DG Energy, in collaboration with UCL’s Energy Institute and SEVEn, to support the Commission in selecting indicators for measuring energy poverty in the EU. The Commission aims to support Member States in their task to protect vulnerable consumers and to address energy poverty by identifying best practices and supporting information exchange. The aim of this assignment is to support the Commission to better understand energy poverty by improving EU-wide data collection and monitoring on the topic.
The specific objectives of this assignment are:
- To identify indicators suited for regular and systematic assessment of energy poverty in the EU;
- To provide recommendations on the most suitable indicators, considering the need to improve the comparability and monitoring of energy poverty across Member States; and
- To provide recommendations on options for a tool that could facilitate monitoring and comparing energy poverty, its drivers and outcomes, and at the same time to provide information on measures addressing energy poverty.
If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact Jeroen van der Laan.