The measures to combat energy poverty were at the center of ENEA’s activities in its role as annual President of the European Energy Network (ENR), the voluntary network of national energy agencies for EU countries and some extra EU nations. At the end of its mandate in February 2019, ENEA presented to the European Commission a series of proposals, following a survey on energy poverty conducted in 11 EU countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, United United Kingdom, Romania, Hungary).
“The Position Paper we presented at European level called for the adoption of measurement parameters common to all EU countries, while taking into account national peculiarities”, Alessandro Federici, Head of the ENEA “Monitoring of Energy Efficiency Policies” Unit, pointed out. “We also recommend greater attention to the local dimension of the phenomenon and to the evaluation of costs of long-term measures to combat energy poverty,” Federici said.
Although a shared definition of energy poverty concerns only 5 out of 11 nations, more than two thirds of the countries involved mention energy poverty in official documents and almost half (5 out of 11) use a shared statistical definition. The analysis also found that the measures to combat energy poverty adopted at the local level are known only to 4 countries out of 11, where the municipalities involved adhere to the Covenant of Mayors.
An actual “National Observatory on Energy Poverty” was established only in France and Greece; in Italy is to be created shortly, with the participation of ENEA. According to the 2016 figures of the European Observatory on Energy Poverty (EPOV), in Italy the primary indicators show that approximately 16% of the population is unable to heat their homes adequately, against an EU average of 8.7%, and almost 9% are late with bill payments, compared to an EU average of 8.1%. Furthermore, 16% of the population has an energy expenditure lower than the minimum threshold, against an EU average of 15.1%.
The EnR PositionPaper-Energypoverty 2019 is available here!