Around 50 million households in the European Union are estimated to be living in or at risk of energy poverty and unable to afford the energy they need to adequately heat or cool their homes. This is due to a number of factors, including high energy costs, low household incomes, and energy-inefficient buildings, and can have serious impacts on health and well-being. The issue of energy poverty is recognized as a priority problem under the European Green Deal and the Clean Energy Package. To tackle the issue, the European Union aims to collect better data on space cooling and summer overheating, the role of gender, housing conditions, and regional differences in measuring energy poverty and policy approaches to assess best practices at the local level.
To support this goal, researchers are investigating how to reduce energy poverty in the private rented sector as part of the ENPOR project, which launched in September. Funded under the EU's Horizon 2020 research program, the project aims to identify and target the needs of tenants and their respective landlords. In this context, the researchers are investigating how energy poverty in the private rented sector can be effectively tackled, looking at examples of good practice and taking into account the respective framework conditions. In doing so, ten policy approaches in seven member states will be further developed and implemented with the close involvement of the target groups as well as other stakeholders. This process will start in the first quarter 2021 and aims to start implementation in summer 2021.
From the results, the researchers will derive guidelines for other countries. There are also plans to develop an energy poverty dashboard for digital knowledge sharing within and between different national contexts and for providing statistics on the spatial distribution of energy poverty in the private rented sector. Florin Vondung, Researcher in the Energy Policy Research Unit in the Energy, Transport and Climate Policy Division at Wuppertal Institute and internal project coordinator of the ENPOR project, states "Public acceptance and support of the energy transition depend significantly on the fair distribution of its costs and benefits. By gathering new evidence on the state and drivers of energy poverty in the private rented sector and collaboratively developing inclusive policy approaches to meet the basic energy needs of vulnerable households, ENPOR actively contributes to a more equitable energy transition".
This ENPOR project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 894189 until August 2023. Further information can be found in the link below.