Around 50 million households in the European Union are estimated to be living in energy poverty â€“ or energy vulnerability, unable to afford the energy needed to adequately heat or cool their homes. This is caused by a combination of factors including high energy costs, low household incomes and energy inefficient buildings, and can have severe impacts on health and wellbeing.
Energy poverty is recognised as a priority issue under the European Green Deal and the Clean Energy Package.
To tackle the issue, the EU objectives are to collect better data on space cooling and summer overheating, the incorporation of gender, housing and regional differences in energy poverty measurement and on policies, in order to evaluate best practices at the local level. “We want everyone in Europe to have a home they can light, heat, or cool without breaking the bank or breaking the planet,” said EU Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, in the Renovation Wave Strategy presentation.
With the attention to support such objectives, key projects have been selected and will be funded under the Horizon2020 programme, including the 36-month ENPOR, a project specifically devoted to alleviating energy poverty in the European Private Rented Sector (PRS). Its aims are to identify energy poor tenants, and respective landlords, as well as understand and address their needs. This will be accomplished through the adaptation and implementation of ten policies in seven Member States.
Within this context, the ENPOR project proposes to investigate in a constructive manner how to tackle energy poverty in the PRS and to examine energy poverty policies for the PRS across the EU, building upon what is already being done. By monitoring the real dimensions of energy poverty in the PRS, its consortium aims to support new policies and to provide guidelines for other countries implicated in the matter. A key result will also be the development of an Energy Poverty Dashboard, a digital mapping tool and a platform for knowledge exchange within and between different national contexts.
Coordinated by the Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy in The Netherlands, and financed under the EU Horizon 2020 Programme, the project will take place until August 2023.