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Harriet Thomson www.fuelpoverty.eu The growing phenomenon of fuel poverty across the European Union.

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Presentation on theme: "Harriet Thomson www.fuelpoverty.eu The growing phenomenon of fuel poverty across the European Union."— Presentation transcript:

1 Harriet Thomson The growing phenomenon of fuel poverty across the European Union

2 Background Only the UK, Ireland and France have a definition Evident from the literature that fuel poverty is a problem across Europe: –Whyley and Callender (1997) – UK, IE, NL, DE –Healy and Clinch (2002) – EU14 –Buzar (2007) – Eastern Europe –EPEE (2009) – BE, FR, IT, ES, UK –Tirado Herrero and Ürge-Vorsatz (2010) – Hungary – Huybrechs, Meyer and Vranken (2012) - Belgium –Thomson and Snell (2012) – EU25 Significant gap in knowledge

3 Studying fuel poverty at the EU level The EU is a powerful political and economic institution that has shaped fuel poverty relevant policy at the member state level, e.g. –Liberalisation of the gas and electricity markets –Europe 2020 targets –Requirements for national fuel poverty action plans –Requirements for national energy ombudsmen –EU Emissions Trading Scheme Data issues –No standardised fuel expenditure data –UK unique in having a detailed housing survey (EHCS/EHS) –Available data is difficult to access and has weaknesses

4 PhD methods Longitudinal analysis of consensual data –EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions –Multilevel modelling Additional data analysis –Gas and electricity prices –Energy efficiency data –Eurobarometer and European Quality of Life Survey Content analysis of policy documents Overall, create a typology of EU fuel poverty

5 Consensual measurement EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions Three key proxy indicators: α ) Ability to pay to keep the home adequately warm β) Arrears on utility bills within last 12 months γ ) Presence of a leaking roof, damp walls or rotten windows Composite index developed using the following weights for each proxy indicator: ScenarioWeighting One 0.50 α β γ Two 0.25 α β γ Three 0.25 α β γ Four 0.33 α β γ

6 Source: Thomson and Snell (2012 )

7 Source: European Commission (2010) and author analysis of EU-SILC

8 Summary European fuel poverty research is constrained by the lack of comparable data on household fuel spend, necessitating the use of proxy indicators Initial analysis confirms previous findings concerning European fuel poverty, and demonstrates that fuel poverty is a problem for most Member States Despite this, levels of acknowledgement and acceptance of fuel poverty as a policy problem are low across the EU, with only three official definitions

9 Thank you for listening, any questions or comments?

10 References Buzar, S. (2007) Energy Poverty in Eastern Europe: Hidden Geographies of Deprivation. Aldershot: Ashgate EPEE, (2009) Tackling Fuel Poverty in Europe: Recommendations Guide for Policy Makers. poverty.com/files/WP5_D15_EN.pdf European Commission (2010a) Commission Staff Working Paper: An Energy Policy for Consumers. European Commission, Brussels. Healy, J. D., and Clinch, P. (2002) Fuel poverty in Europe: A cross- country analysis using a new composite measure. Environmental Studies Research Series, University College Dublin. Huybrechs F., Meyer S. and Vranken J. (2012) Energiearmoede in België.[online] Thomson, H., and Snell, C. (2012) Quantifying the prevalence of fuel poverty across the European Union. Energy Policy, Tirado Herrero, S. and Ürge-Vorsatz, D. (2010) Fuel poverty in Hungary: A first assessment. Final report. Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy, Central European University. Whyley, C. and Callender, C., (1997) Fuel poverty in Europe: evidence from the European Household Panel Survey. National Energy Action, Newcastle upon Tyne.


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