Alleviating Fuel Poverty in the EU

Investing in home renovation, a sustainable and complete solution.

According to a study published by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), subsidies and direct financial support for households for heating, can not provide a long-term solution to the problem of energy poverty. On the contrary, by taking radical energy renovation measures in the homes affected by it, the problem can be tackled effectively and in the long run. The implementation of economic policies to tackle energy poverty in various European countries has shown that, although energy efficiency improvement measures have proven to be the most sustainable solution, they receive lower grants than financial income support schemes and energy prices.

Energy poverty is a major problem in Europe, as millions of people do not have the financial comfort to provide thermal comfort in their homes. Although there is no official European definition of energy poverty, the importance of the problem, as well as its serious effects on health, are widely recognised.

In order to assess the magnitude of the problem, the study examines the current situation in the countries of the European Union (EU), using data from Eurostat. The indicators used for the quantitative assessment of energy poverty refer to the percentage of the population that is unable to keep their home adequately warm, to pay the operating costs (DEKO bills, etc.) and to live in homes without technical defects (leaks, humidity, mold, etc.).

In 2012, 10.8% of the EU population was unable to keep their homes warm enough, with 24.4% reported as low-income people. In Greece the respective percentages are 26.1% and 47.6%, quite high in relation to the average and among the highest in the EU. The study also makes proposals for achieving the social, environmental and energy goals set by the EU for 2020.

This is the introductory text published by the BPIE and concerns the report entitled “Mitigating Energy Poverty in Europe

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