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28 Jun 2016

Workshop invite: Ending Energy Poverty in Europe Towards an Inclusive Energy Union

Workshop invite: Ending Energy Poverty in Europe Towards an Inclusive Energy Union

Ending Energy Poverty in Europe Towards an Inclusive Energy Union

Thursday 7th July 2016, 10:00 – 16:30, Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre.

Energy Poverty, also known as Fuel Poverty, is a widespread reality across Europe that occurs when a household is unable to afford the most basic levels of energy for adequate heating and lighting as well as common activities such as cooking and the use of appliances at home. According to the European Commission, 11% of the European population currently suffers from fuel poverty and is unable to afford proper indoor thermal comfort. Low income, gradually increasing energy prices and poor energy efficient homes are the main reasons behind this reality and are mainly encountered in Central Eastern and Southern Europe.

In 2015, the European Commission published a new study on the status of energy poverty in Europe, in which some crucial conclusions to tackle the challenge were underlined, such as the importance of establishing an adequate definition of energy poverty, financially supporting national policies as well as continuing to set minimum standards for energy efficient buildings and domestic appliances.

However, EU Member States have proved to be unable to reach a broad consensus regarding a common definition for energy poverty: less than a third of European countries officially recognises the issue or provides a definition for the phenomenon, and among them, only few incorporated it into their national legislation. Yet, the efforts made are at risk of fading away due to the nonexistence of a widely accepted EU position, which therefore obstructs the creation of a comprehensive European framework towards a common and efficiency strategy to fight energy poverty.

Additionally, several studies indicate that very limited research has been conducted across EU member states on energy poverty and, apart from a few exceptions, most European countries have mainly focused on addressing the issue through short-term solutions such as direct financial assistance and social welfare instead of developing long-term strategies aimed at protecting vulnerable consumers.

This timely symposium provides an invaluable opportunity to discuss the latest developments in tackling energy poverty at European level. This symposium will explore the importance of reaching a common European strategy on energy poverty and discuss the next steps to be taken towards the full liberalisation of the energy market. It will also focus on the importance of empowering citizens and local communities with a particular emphasis on the need to develop efficient measures to protect vulnerable consumers. Public Policy Exchange welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. The Symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate.

Delegates will:

  • Discuss ways towards the establishment of a common EU strategy to end energy poverty in Europe
  • Define ways to support national policies through EU Funding schemes and to further liberalise the EU Energy Market
  • Promote measures to empower citizens and protect vulnerable consumers


Registration and Morning Refreshments

Chair’s Welcome and Opening Remarks

Tackling Energy Poverty in the EU: Developing a Common European Strategy 

  • Reinforcing Data Collection Strategies and Adopting a Common EU Definition for Energy Poverty
  • Towards a European Strategy for Energy Poverty: Discussing the EC’s Energy Efficiency Directive and its Communication on ‘Delivering a New Deal for Energy Consumers’
  • Sharing Information Across Europe: Establishing a Database of Measures and Best Practices adopted by EU Member States to address Energy Poverty
  • Recommendations for Future Policy Developments

First Round of Discussions

Morning Coffee Break

Supporting National Policies through EU Funding Schemes and Promoting Energy Market Liberalisation 

  • Accelerating the Building Modernisation Process in Lower-income Member States through EU Regional Funding
  • Implementing the Third Energy Package: Liberalising and Integrating Retail Energy Markets in all Member States
  • Energy and Poverty: Financing Appropriate Sustainable Technologies and Solutions
  • Sharing Best Practices and Policy Recommendations

Second Round of Discussions

Networking Lunch

Targeting Vulnerable Consumers: Ensuring Sustainable and Fair Access to the Energy Market 

  • Providing Better Information to Consumers about their Rights and Ensuring Data Portability
  • Promoting Collective Switching Schemes and Campaigns to Help Vulnerable Households find a Better Energy Deal
  • Protecting Vulnerable Consumers: Improving Transparency in Billing Information and Price Comparisons
  • Breaking the Landlord-Tenant Dilemma: Incentivising Property Owners in Investing in Energy Efficient Measures

Third Round of Discussions

Afternoon Coffee Break

Adopting Energy Efficient Practices: Empowering Citizens and Local Communities

  • Empowering Low-Income Households to adopt Energy Saving Measures and New Energy Efficient Consumption Habits
  • Targeting Remote Areas and Rural Customers: Ensuring Reliable and Affordable Energy Supplies
  • Engaging Social Housing Companies in Building Renovation: Sharing Best Practices
  • Future Policy Recommendations

Fourth Round of Discussions

Chair’s Summary and Closing Remarks

Networking Reception and Refreshments

Symposium Close

** Please note that the programme and speakers are subject to change without notice **

Who Should Attend?

  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Social Funds
  • Environmental Associations
  • Local Authorities
  • Organisational Development Professionals
  • International and Regional Organisations
  • National Ministries and Institutes
  • Joint Committees on Environment
  • Social Exclusion Officers
  • Confederations of Independent Unions
  • Regional Development and Natural Environment Specialists
  • Local Authority
  • GreenCity Teams
  • Central Government Departments
  • Sustainable Development Stakeholders
  • Environmental Services and Policy Professionals
  • Environmental Services Sustainability Professionals
  • Environmental Services Urban Design Professionals
  • Environmental Planning and Design Officers
  • Conservation Professionals
  • Environmental Campaigns Professionals
  • Environmental Enforcement Professionals
  • Housing Authorities and Professionals
  • Energy Leads
  • Biodiversity Leads
  • Renewable Energy Leads
  • Energy Efficiency Professionals
  • Green Education Professionals
  • Schools and Education Stakeholders (including LEAs)
  • Regeneration Professionals
  • Private Sector Environmental Organisations
  • Business Development Professionals
  • Finance Leads
  • Greening Retail Organisations
  • Greening Industry Professionals
  • Third Sector Organisations
  • Academics and Researchers
  • Third Sector Organisations