(20 February 2019) A new report on energy poverty has revealed that a majority of EU countries are unable to keep their citizens warm this winter.
Energy poverty has shown to be prevalent in southern and eastern Europe with countries such as Bulgaria outstripping other countries for prevalence of four key indicators – damp and leaky homes, high energy costs for households, inability to keep homes warm against winter, and inability to keep homes cool in summer.
The report found that a 17 EU countries have significant levels of energy poverty.
The share of household expenditure spent on energy is rising in Europe, with increases more prominent in low-income families – whose expenditure increased 33% between 2000 and 2014. A very clear divide exists between northern/western and southern/eastern European countries in which socio economic factors play a more significant role in energy poverty than weather.
After a two-year negotiation process during which new provisions were won for energy poverty alleviation in the EU energy package, the lack of political ambition to tackle energy poverty is nevertheless still visible: Greece was the only EU Member State to have included an energy poverty objective in draft National Energy and Climate Plans; whereas national energy efficiency targets, a structural solution to energy poverty, also fail to reach the insufficient EU target of 32.5% by 2030.
EPSU as a member of the right to energy coalition calls for:
- A ban on disconnections to protect low-income households
- Renovation of homes to cut emissions and energy bills
- Putting energy in people’s hands: energy democracy is part of the solution