Will EU’s buildings directive bring benefits for low-income households?

(EurActiv, 16 Nov 2023) The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) provides an essential gateway for citizen participation in the energy system, bringing cheaper bills to low-income households through old-fashioned energy efficiency, writes Louise Sunderland.

Louise Sunderland is a researcher, advisor, and policy analyst who works with the NGO Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) on energy efficiency, energy poverty, and carbon revenue recycling.

Last week, the European Commission’s Citizen’s Energy Forum in Dublin reflected on the winter energy crisis, drawing lessons for energy poverty alleviation and long-term inclusion of all citizens in the energy transition.

One of the big themes of the Forum and the preceding roundtable discussion with energy regulators was ‘demand flexibility’ or shifting demand for electricity to make best use of the supply of renewables.

Value of flexibility

The importance of mobilising flexible demand took centre stage last winter. Energy providers in a number of European countries undertook campaigns to shift electricity demand away from peak times because flexible demand is a powerful tool to reduce gas use, the primary cause of the energy crisis, in electricity generation.

But flexibility is not just for a crisis. In an electricity system dominated by renewable generation, balancing supply with demand is vital to making best use of our valuable renewable resources and avoiding overly costly grid upgrades.

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EurActiv, 16 Nov 2023: Will EU’s buildings directive bring benefits for low-income households?