Back to top

Housing, Energy and Thermal Comfort: A review of 10 countries within the WHO European Region


The impact of climate and temperature on health has been receiving increased attention in recent years. Although a precise assessment of the burden of disease caused by low indoor temperatures is not yet available, indoor thermal discomfort and fuel poverty may be of great importance in many European countries. The report summarizes a project on the health impact of low temperatures based on a review of 10 European countries. Based on the available evidence, the phenomenon of excess winter deaths is significantly related to housing characteristics. A considerable number of death cases could therefore be reduced through adequate housing standards, heating systems and energy supply. Based on the review of the country policies and the scientific evidence, available policy options and intervention strategies addressing this issue are discussed and recommendations for national policies on housing, energy and thermal comfort are made.