Domestic energy deprivation in Greece: A field study
Energy poverty can be understood as the inability of a household to secure socially and materially the necessitated level of energy services in the home. This condition is described as either energy or fuel poverty and it has been recognized by the EU's so called “Third Energy Package”. The work in this field has identified a number of household-level factors that influence the likelihood of experiencing domestic deprivation, with particular emphasis being placed on understanding how education levels correlates to the phenomenon. In that perspective, and in order to study the dynamics of energy poverty in Greece, a questionnaire was prepared and distributed mainly by means of in-situ interviews and, in exceptional cases, in remote sessions. The evidence presented in this paper is based on a comprehensive study of 762 questionnaires mainly for Western Macedonia (43.6%) and Central Macedonia (42.6%), Greece. Using the quantitative data gathered, we measure the energy vulnerability concerning the quality of the housing–dwelling, the heating system, indoor thermal comfort and the net-income. The research is, to our knowledge, the first attempt to analyze residential energy, habitants’ behavior, and attitudes in the middle of the economic crisis in North Greece. It has been determined, that the middle class has become the most vulnerable class in that sense. A further scope of this paper is not only to present this data, which prove that domestic energy deprivation appears not only in Southern but also in Northern Greece, but also to discuss measures that can be adopted in order mitigate energy and social vulnerability of the middle class.