Back to top

Energy poverty in Denmark?


Energy poverty is the inability of households to afford adequate energy services in the home, which can have several impacts on health and well-being. Without an understanding of energy poverty, Danish energy policy might put vulnerable households at a disadvantage. The scope of the research was therefore first, to assess the energy poverty situation for Danish households, and second, to explain this situation by examining the drivers behind energy poverty (income, energy prices, energy efficiency, energy needs and available resources). Using objective, subjective and proxy indicators for energy poverty two societal categories were determined to be especially vulnerable in Denmark: single persons under 60 years on low incomes and pensioners in detached housing. The first category is very likely to contain energy poor households, because this group scores the worst on all the indicators. The main driver behind energy poverty for this category is low income, but additional drivers include the lower amount of available resources to improve the situation and for some groups also the poor energy efficiency of dwellings. The second category scores bad on objective indicators, but good on subjective and proxy indicators. The main driver behind energy poverty for this category is high equivalized energy expenditure, as this group lives in relatively large housing and uses more expensive liquid fuels. However, this has not lead to bad scores on the subjective and proxy indicators, probably because the Danish government currently reimburses a large part of the heating costs for pensioners.