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16 Oct 2018

Energy Poverty and Social Isolation

Policy eventResearch Event
EU European Union

Tuesday 16 October 2018, 1530 – 1800

followed by drinks reception, European Parliament

(registration from 1500)

Energy poverty is defined as the inability of households to access adequate energy services, including: home heating/cooling, electrical appliances and mobility. Since the global financial crash and the ‘cost of living crisis’ that has accompanied austerity, energy poverty is a pressing concern for many households across Europe. The launch of the EU’s Energy Poverty Observatory in 2018 shows the high political priority that is being given to this issue.

The White Rose Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York will share their initial findings from a recent collaboration. Drawing on qualitative evidence from multiple disciplines, this event will examine the role that people’s social networks play in their ability to cope with a lack of access to energy services and its impacts on their health. Experts in the field will facilitate policy-relevant discussions of how frontline efforts to address energy poverty can be supported.

Hosted by Theresa Griffin MEP, there will be Panel contributions from Ms Paula Pinho, Head of Unit, DG ENER, Energy Policy Coordination Unit, European Commission, Dr Lucie Middlemiss, University of Leeds on social relations and poverty, Dr Tom Hargreaves, University of East Anglia on the impact of energy poverty on emotions, plus a speaker from the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. Evidence from secondary data analysis suggests that people are less willing to look for help if they are stigmatised in doing so and this has an impact on their access to energy services. This has important implications for managing energy poverty: it is possible that ‘hard to reach’ people are made even harder to reach when they do not have a social support network to identify them as needing help. While energy poverty is frequently portrayed to be a technical or economic problem, findings from extensive UK-based research show that vulnerability to energy poverty has a critical social dimension

After the Panel, there will be Q&A and discussion of the research and its application to future policy. A drinks reception from 1800 will follow the event for networking.

Register here, today.