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Energy poverty in Brussels: first results of a qualitative survey


This article presents the results of four months of fieldwork among social workers dealing with energy poverty and beneficiaries of social help in Brussels. In-depth interviews were conducted with people for whom gaining access to energy in the home is a problem. This article analyses energy poverty through three main topics – health, social recognition and social support – and explores whether they are interrelated or not. Results show that energy poverty is associated not only with financial aspects but also with social life and mental health. This article also addresses the relationship between people living in energy poverty, their landlords and social workers. Understanding and accessing information appear to be key when analysing the issue of energy poverty today and looking for solutions.