Key recommendations to combat energy poverty
Mathias Maucher, EAPN Policy Officer, spoke in the workshop “Who pays and who benefits in the energy transition?”in the context of the Energy Forum 2020. Referring to data highlighting the social and economic impacts of energy poverty and precarity, he presented 5 important demands for EAPN . He referred to the rEdistributor Project from Hungary as a good practice example to address energy poverty. It aims at setting up local energy poverty strategies as part of a community development process. Mathias Maucher concluded by recommending to make more effective use of the EC Guidance/Commission Recommendation on Energy Poverty of 14 October 2020 by defining and using EU-level indicators to also monitor progress of national policies to prevent and reduce energy poverty. Such provisions would make national governments more accountable to their own citizens and the civil society organisations, including EAPN members, fighting for a just and social transition. They could also be used in the European Semester.
The EC Guidance presents good policy hooks: Recommendation 5 asks all EU Member States “to assess the distributional effects of the energy transition, in particular energy efficiency measures”, recommendation 9 to target low-income households when allocating public funds. Recommendation 4 calls upon them “to produce integrated policy solutions as part of energy and social policy, (…), reinforcing each other”. Last but not least, recommendation 6 demands all countries “to develop all policies (…) on the basis of meaningful and accountable processes of public participation and broad stakeholder engagement”. This is in line with the EAPN demand that “social goals must not be secondary to environmental goals, but equal and mutually reinforcing”. Such an approach would also help sustaining public and political support for green investments and carbon-neutral regulation.
Energy Forum 2020
The event was organised from 1 to 3 December 2020 by the Right To Energy (R2E) Coalition. The workshop attracted about 60 participants and looked into the benefits and costs of the transition to a green, carbon-free and climate-friendly economies. You can watch the recording of the workshop (length: 1h; language: English). The main presenter, Louise Sunderland, Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), and the other two panelists, Clothilde Clark-Foulquier, FEANTSA, and Stanislas d’Herbemont, REScoop.eu, agreed with EAPN that there is a need to actively support energy-poor households in the green transition. All four speakers shared the view that people and households in energy poverty should also receive a fair share of the benefits of this transition. The workshop was built around a presentation by Louise Sunderland on main insights and recommendations from research conducted by RAP, “Equity in the energy transition: Who pays and who benefits?”, issued in May 2020. The detailed analysis and policy recommendations prepared by RAP are well summarised in the briefing “Who’s To Pay? Splitting the bill for a just energy transition”, published in June 2020 by the R2E Coalition.