While the European Parliament is discussing a Strategy for long-term on greenhouse gas emissions reduction in accordance with the Paris Agreement and the future vision for a climate neutral economy, a new research by Open Exp reveals a majority of EU countries have significant levels of energy poverty and are unable to keep their citizens warm this winter, especially in south and east of Europe.
The key findings of this first-of-its-kind EU index on energy poverty show that:
- 17 EU countries have significant levels of energy poverty;
- The share of household expenditure spent on energy is rising in Europe, with increases more prominent in low-income families – whose expenditure increased 33% between 2000 and 2014;
- A clear divide exists between northern/western and southern/eastern European countries;
- Socio-economic factors play a bigger role in high energy poverty levels than weather;
- Countries with strong building regulations and higher GDP per capita show lower levels of energy poverty;
- Worst performing countries face both winter and summer energy poverty.
COFACE Families Europe, in the framework of the Right to Energy Coalition, trade unions, anti-poverty organisations, social housing providers, environmental organisations, health organisations and energy cooperatives, calls for:
- A ban on disconnections to protect low-income households
- Renovation of homes to cut emissions and energy bills
- Putting energy in people’s hands: energy democracy is part of the solution.