Promoting the area-based approach to tackle energy poverty in the wake of the EU Green Deal (Brussels, 3 March 2020)
It has become evident that energy poverty is one of the most alarming phenomena of our times, affecting around 11% of Europeans. Eurostat (2012) shows that 87 million people live in poor quality dwellings, 54 million people cannot keep their home adequately warm and 161 million face disproportionate housing expenditure.
At the same time, the number of people with complex housing needs in Europe is increasing, especially in those countries hit most by the financial crisis. In Greece, for instance, according to the latest European Parliament survey, 36% of households suffer from energy poverty, while tens of thousands of them have no access to power and/or heating.
There is no doubt that the challenge is multifaceted, characterized by poor energy efficient homes, rising energy prices and low income. Home owners and providers across Europe face different challenges from financing energy efficient renovations to providing additional services to tenants.
This challenge has been recognised by the European Commission in the EU Green Deal, since it says that “Particular attention will be paid to the renovation of social housing, to help households who struggle to pay their energy bills”.
In order to both achieve the targets and leave no one behind, more effective solutions should put in place to motivate Member States seeing the energy efficient renovation as part of future-proof and sustainable neighbourhoods. Stakeholders from all levels should come together to discuss next steps not only in terms of renovation techniques, financial incentives but also about the co-creation methods and energy advice. Therefore, Housing Europe and the European Policy Centre proposes a workshop in cooperation with the European Union energy poverty observatory focusing on the European perspective with the aim to discuss
• How are EU funding schemes fostering the tackling of energy poverty?
• How to improve financial tools to address the whole neighbourhood/district?
• What is the role of innovation/RES?
• How do we upscale to achieve affordability for the providers?
• How could decentralised energy become a reality?