More than 50 million households in the European Union are in energy poverty, struggling to attain adequate warmth, pay their utility bills on time and live in homes free of damp and mould. The issue has been identified as a policy priority by a number of EU institutions, most notably in the European Commission’s Clean Energy for All Europeans legislative package.
To help address this challenge the EU has created a new Energy Poverty Observatory to improve the measuring, monitoring and sharing of knowledge and best practice on energy poverty. The focal point of the Observatory is a newly-launched web portal which contains a range of useful resources to help support decision making at local, regional and national level. The portal is open-access and easy to use, and will promote public engagement on key issues as well as disseminate information and good practice among public and private stakeholders.
The portal launched on Monday 29 January at an event in Brussels, hosted by the European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefcovic. Speaking at the launch event, European Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: ‘The European energy sector is undergoing a change of paradigm - from a system based on fossil fuels, towards a more efficient, more sustainable, clean energy sector. And it is our duty to make sure that no one is left behind.’
The University of Manchester is leading the development of the Observatory, with support from a consortium of experts in energy poverty policy and practice. Professor Stefan Bouzarovski, Chair of EPOV said: ‘The Observatory’s web portal offers a unique focal point for understanding and tracking the extent of energy poverty across the European Union, as well as efforts to address the problem. The wide range of indicators presented on the website show that the prevalence of energy poverty in some Member States is very high.’
‘The portal also contains the world’s single largest database of energy poverty amelioration measures. Many of these have been recorded in Southern and Eastern European countries that have received comparatively less visibility to date’.
To find out more about the Observatory and to access the resources visit https://www.energypoverty.eu/