Between 50 and 125 million citizens of the EU (about 10 – 25%) are estimated to be energy poor. The situation is even more severe in Eastern Europe: more than 30 % of households are struggling with energy poverty. EU is working on addressing energy poverty, but some important elements are still missing such as workable definition of what constitutes an energy poor household, regular monitoring of the scope and depth of energy poverty and clear energy poverty policy at EU level.
This is why one of the first steps of project REACH was to organize an event at which the project partners and other interested stakeholders could exchange information, know-how and experience from the field of energy poverty at the EU level. The event took place in Ljubljana on 24 April 2014 and the focus of the event was on some of the new Member States. The main issues were the definition of energy poverty, structural approaches to fighting energy poverty and practical solutions to energy poverty. The event provided participants with a better up to date insight in achievements.
Approaches to tackling energy poverty at practical level were presented by
– Barbara Kalker from Caritas Frankfurt for Germany
– Zsuzsanna Kiraly from Energy Club for Hungary
– Vasil Zlatev from Energy Agency Plovdiv for Bulgaria.
Approaches to tackling energy poverty at structural level were presented by Lara Blake from Internal Market III: Retail markets; coal & oil, Directorate-General for Energy.
Stefan Buzarovski, Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience and Energy at University of Manchester presented the specifics of energy poverty in the Balkans.
Brenda Boardman of Environmental Change Institute at University of Oxford talked about the definitions and dimensions of energy poverty in Europe.