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Towards a hidden energy poverty indicator for Spanish households

Description

Recently, the EU Energy Poverty Observatory (EPOV) introduced, among the primary indicators, the ‘Low share of energy expenditure in income’ indicator (M/2), which aims to quantify the tendency of ‘households in arrears on bills’ to reduce their energy consumption. This paper proposes a methodology to characterise household energy consumption in order to quantify the number of Spanish households whose energy expenditure is abnormally low. Categorizing the ‘average energy-expenditure’ (AEE) and the ‘required heating expenditure’ (RHE) of Spanish households, a ‘Modified M/2’ indicator will be calculated. Complementing the proposed indicator with a characterisation of the household income level, it will be possible to eliminate false positives and, as a result, identify Spanish households that reduce energy consumption due to difficulties in meeting their bills, or in other words due to energy poverty.