UIPI gets involved in tackling energy poverty in Europe
Around 50 million households in the European Union are estimated to be living in energy poverty, unable to afford the energy needed to adequately heat or cool their homes. It’s 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. 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 policy and to compile and to evaluate best practices at the local level.
Within this context, UIPI joins ENPOR, in order to investigate in a constructive manner how to tackle energy poverty in the European Private Rented Sector (PRS).
Share of households in energy poverty in the EU28, according to the primary indicator of energy poverty disaggregated by the tenure group. (EU-SILC).
Recent data thrown by EU Energy Poverty Observatory (EPOV) shows that this problem is affecting all segments of the housing sector. Social housing and accommodation where the actual rent is fixed by law house the greatest share of energy poor households, but the phenomenom exists also in the PRS. “By comparison, owner occupiers have the lowest average rate of energy poverty within EU28, which may in part be attributable to the opportunities owner occupiers have to improve the energy efficiency of their dwelling”, EPOV explains.
ENPOR is a project specifically devoted to alleviating energy poverty in the PRS. Its aim is 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.
First of all, it is important to examine energy poverty policies for the PRS across the EU, to build on what is already being done. It is also needed to monitor the real dimensions of energy poverty in the PRS, something that requires more visibility and as quantification as possible. Then it would be possible to undertake the challenges, to support new policies and to provide guidelines for other countries implicated in the matter.
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.
In the ENPOR project, UIPI will have the delicate task of helping to bring to light the factors that prevent improvements of the energy efficiency of dwellings. In addition, UIPI will participate in the development of local, national and European policies to tackle them.
“ENPOR is a unique opportunity for us to contribute to the fight against energy poverty in Europe. The issue is complex. It is the result of multiple factors. Consequently, there is no silver bullet when it comes to tackle it. The key is to address it in a constructive way and consider that the landlord can be part of the solution. That is why we are involved in this project. We have the firm intention to identify support mechanisms to improve poor quality rental housing and to provide assistance to tenants that face difficulties to pay their energy bills”
Emmanuelle Causse – UIPI Secretary General
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 889385.