ENERGY POVERTY IN GREECE – SOCIAL INNOVATION PROPOSALS TO ADDRESS THE PHENOMENON

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung Foundation of Greece in collaboration with the social cooperative “Wind of Renewal” and INZEB, which are active in the fields of ecology, building energy saving and sustainable development,  assessed a policy recommendations’ plan regarding the “Energy poverty in Greece and the contribution of green social innovation in tackling it.”

Energy poverty is beginning to be recognized worldwide as a social problem with increasing importance and serious implications for the health of many millions of citizens. As far as Europe is concerned, the phenomenon of energy poverty has worsened in recent years, even in economically robust countries, as the final price of energy has risen, but without a corresponding increase in the incomes of the financially weaker citizens. In Germany, for example, according to a recent survey, 21.5% of the country’s households (8.5 million citizens) lived in 2013 in a state of energy poverty. In the public debate, there is no shortage of voices against the energy transition to clean energy sources, attributing to this policy the rise of energy poverty, as a consequence of rising energy prices. However, this criticism hides the multifactorial nature of the phenomenon as well as the multifaceted dimensions of the problem, making it difficult to deal with.

In this study, we present the factors that make up the multifaceted problem of energy poverty as well as its social, economic and environmental impact. The following is a reference to policies and good practices for dealing with the phenomenon from various European countries. We have also elaborated and submitted a series of proposals to address the problem in Greece that show the direction in which we believe that policies which address energy poverty should move. More specifically, these proposals demonstrate the need for a holistic approach to green, social innovation that in combination with adequate documentation of the phenomenon, can offer sustainable solutions, regarding the current data of Greece. The proposals are developed in four main areas: policy changes, information and education, increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and the use of renewable energy sources.

During the writing of the study, two workshops were held with the participation of representatives of ministries, local government and other institutions, academic and research institutions as well as civil society organizations.

The aim of these workshops was to gather as much information, approaches and views of people who deal with the issue from different perspectives. On the occasion of the publication of the study, we would like to warmly thank all those who responded to our invitation and shared with us their knowledge and experiences.

We hope that the publication of this study will give impetus to the public debate and the proposals contained to be judged and used by the authorities and all stakeholders, to lay the foundations for a comprehensive strategy and an effective and sustainable policy to combat energy poverty, which so many of our fellow citizens suffer.

The publication is available only in Greek.
The English version of the executive summary is available and you may download it.

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