In this workshop, co-hosted by the CEER and FSR, we aim to highlight the role of the regulators in addressing energy poverty in Europe.
Through three panel sessions we will explore:
- the drivers of energy poverty in Europe and what is government’s role in addressing it,
- the Clean Energy Package and the solutions it offers to end energy poverty in Europe,
- what energy poverty has in common with energy poverty in other parts of the world and examining how to share best practice.
Energy poverty is a widespread and even growing reality across Europe. The EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU SILC) measured in 2013 shows that 10.7% of the population (approximately 54 million people) are unable to afford basic levels of energy for essential needs.
Energy poverty falls between several major policy fields (social, health, education, environment, financial, productivity) and involves many stakeholders from all of these fields. Energy Poverty should, therefore, be addressed in an integrated manner to optimise multiple benefits, including less money spent by governments on health, reduced air pollution, better comfort and wellbeing, improved household budgets, and increased economic activity.
Member States have so far been responsible for addressing energy poverty and have done so by boosting household income through social tariffs, social welfare subsidies and regulated energy prices. This has been an effective short-term solution but is increasingly criticised for not addressing the root of the cause, and for distorting the increasingly liberalised market.
Until now, energy poverty has barely featured in EU policy or linked debates. At the forefront has been the continued deepening of the internal market, through liberalisation and privatisation, and the clean energy transition. Will the Clean Energy Package together with the mandate provided to the newly launched EU Energy Poverty Observatory be able to change this situation and address energy poverty in a coordinated manner in Europe?