Alleviating energy poverty – with fossil fuels?
(EurActiv, 28 Sep 2023) To combat energy poverty, governments should direct funding to energy efficiency options and clean technologies that offer a structural solution to rising energy bills, rather than supporting fossil fuel heating, writes Vlasios Oikonomou.
Vlasios Oikonomou is the managing director of the Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy.
To comply with the new EU energy and climate targets, member states must submit their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) including policies and measures for energy efficiency, renewable energy, security of supply, climate resilience and adaptation.
Several member states are focusing on energy poverty, by addressing it with financial support for the energy upgrade of residential buildings and the purchase of more efficient appliances.
Energy poverty results from three conditions: poor condition of buildings, low disposable income and rising energy prices.
Some countries, such as Greece, combine all the elements, leading to an extreme urge to address the problem.
The only structural way to reduce energy poverty is by improving energy efficiency in buildings and reducing households’ dependence on burning fossil fuels, alongside targeted financial support for the most vulnerable groups.