New energy poverty website goes live
A new online resource is now available to support those working to improve the lives of vulnerable and low-income energy consumers across Europe.
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 Šefčovič. 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’.
Global and EU perspective
At the Energy Action, Ireland European Energy Poverty Conference, on 29TH March 2018 in Croke Park Dublin, Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment said, “energy poverty is not just an Irish issue. The Irish Government welcomes the opportunity for greater exchange and collaboration with Europe to tackle it.
The European Commission has proposed a requirement on all Member States to report on levels of energy poverty and the actions being taken to alleviate it under the new Clean Energy Package of legislation.
This is an acknowledgement of the severity of this issue across the EU. Ireland is supporting this proposal. Making a difference is easier when we work together.
The creation of the EU Energy Poverty Observatory will bring Europe together on this issue. It is a unique opportunity for collaboration.
The Observatory will inform and offer solutions in a user-friendly accessible resource and crucially, promote public engagement. I believe it is hugely important that the people of Ireland have their voices heard in this forum.
All of this forms an excellent fit with the work of the International Energy Agency on the multiple benefits of energy efficiency. My officials, along with the SEAI, are closely involved in this work, particularly on the benefits to health and wellbeing”.
To find out more about the Observatory and to access the resources visit https://www.energypoverty.eu/
- The EU Energy Poverty Observatory (EPOV) is a 40 month project that commenced in December 2016. Its principal mission is to engender transformational change in knowledge about the extent of energy poverty in Europe, and innovative policies and practices to combat it. The creation of an Energy Poverty Observatory is part of the European Commission’s policy efforts to address energy poverty across EU countries. For more information visit https://www.energypoverty.eu/about/role-and-mission
- Following a public tender, delivery of EPOV is led by the University of Manchester with support from a consortium including Ecofys, National Energy Action, The European Policy Centre, Intrasoft International, and the Wuppertal Institute.
For more information contact Energy Action, CLG, at Unit 14, Newmarket, Dublin 8 ( the Irish representative for the Consortium)) at 00353 1 4545464, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is www.energyaction.ie.