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Energy poverty in the EU: A review of the evidence DG Regio workshop on Cohesion policy investing in energy efficiency in buildings, Brussels, 29/11/11.

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Presentation on theme: "Energy poverty in the EU: A review of the evidence DG Regio workshop on Cohesion policy investing in energy efficiency in buildings, Brussels, 29/11/11."— Presentation transcript:

1 Energy poverty in the EU: A review of the evidence DG Regio workshop on Cohesion policy investing in energy efficiency in buildings, Brussels, 29/11/11 Stefan Bouzarovski School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences University of Birmingham

2 Starting points Energy poverty: Characterized by the inability to secure a socially- and materially-necessitated level of energy services in the home (based on Buzar 2007) Largely an invisible problem in the EU despite its potentially significant extent Limited amount of scientific research Opportunity for win-win solutions by integrating energy efficiency and affordability issues

3 Energy poverty policies in the EU (1) Directives 2009/72/EC and 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and natural gas supply Recognized the existence of a growing energy poverty problem in Europe, requiring member states who are affected and which have not yet done so to ensure the necessary energy supply for vulnerable customers, aiming at decreasing the number of people suffering from this situation National governments were asked to formulate appropriate measures to address energy poverty, including the development of national energy action plans

4 Energy poverty policies in the EU (2) European Economic and Social Committee, July 2010 –Formulating an EU-level definition of energy poverty that can then be adapted by each Member State –Setting up an European Energy Poverty Monitoring Centre EC report in November 2010 Energy Council meeting in December 2010

5 The problem Establishing energy poverty in the EU has been methodologically problematic for a range of theoretical and practical reasons Three main methods have been used to date: Expenditure-based (national budget surveys) Subjective self-reporting (EU-SILC) Direct measurement (individual case studies)

6 Existing research Not a single study has looked at the EU as a whole Four transnational studies: –Healy (2004): EU-15, subjective and objective housing indicators based on ECHP –Buzar (2007): EU-10 and case studies, mainly expenditure and subjective indicators based on own research –WHO (2007): independent data on housing, energy and thermal comfort in 10 countries –EPEE (2009): range of indicators based on EU-SILC in Belgium, Spain, France, Italy and the United Kingdom Country-based work (Bouzarovski 2010; Freund and Wallich 1996; Kovačević 2004) Policy-led research (EBRD 2003; Lampietti and Meyer 2002; Velody et al. 2003; Fankhauser and Tepic 2005)

7 Energy- poverty relevant indicators in the EUs Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey ( population percentage averages, stacked up)

8 means

9 2010

10 m people cannot keep their home adequately warm m are facing disproportionate housing expenditure m are living in poor quality dwellings m face arrears on their utility bills

11 Landscapes of vulnerability EU-10: inefficient housing, removal of price subsidies, expansion of poverty Mediterranean countries: inefficient housing, lack of heating systems, income inequalities Atlantic rim: inefficient housing, income inequalities Vulnerable groups: –Urban and rural pensioners –Single parents, families with children, immigrants, rental households (mainly urban) –Farming households (esp. Southern and Eastern Europe) –Households living in multi-family apartment buildings in Eastern and Northern European countries

12 Energy burdens and average/relative poverty, Poland

13 Energy expenditure point change per income decile, , Bulgaria

14 Percentage of energy efficiency measures in the EU-15 housing stock (Healy 2004) Energy burdens among different groups, Poland (CSO 2010)

15 Instead of a conclusion Energy poverty is a growing problem in Europe There are significant opportunities to address the issue via demand-side energy efficiency policies at the regional scale Needed: a regional level-indicator of energy poverty, possibly tied to EU assistance for residential energy efficiency This would require an EU-wide Hills review to help calibrate such an indicator


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