14/01/2016 – EAPN responded to DG Energy’s Vulnerable consumer’s group questionnaire on Energy Poverty building on the contributions from EAPN members who are part of the EAPN Energy Poverty cluster. The questionnaire focuses on three key energy poverty related issues: The concept of energy poverty, Indicators to measure energy povertyand Measures to tackle energy poverty.
See here below some of EAPN comments on the questionnaire:
“3 key elements are crucial in defining and developing adequate strategies to fight energy poverty: ensuring adequate income, fair pricing and reduced consumption – related to energy efficiency. Whilst there is a relationship to general poverty, it depends which indicator for poverty is used ie at risk of poverty ( below median 60% disposable household income), no reference is made to access related to goods and services only income, whilst severe material deprivation indicator does“.
“The first two definitions make access to affordable energy only an option – ie access and/or and thereby reduce the priority given to acceptable pricing for adequate energy provision. We think that both issues are vital. So would support the first definition if it was not stated as optional, but both issues of access and inability to afford adequate energy services. With the current definitions offered we prefer 3”.
“Proxy indicators are very useful and easily collected through EU SILC for example, however they don’t provide a benchmark for acceptable levels of expenditure on energy/fuel. Specific indicator would be better – inability to afford adequate heating/cooking/lighting. A relative benchmark like the fixed threshold is useful to give general parameters on how much of a household income should be spent on energy bills – this could be done for different household types. Another important indicator would be to be in energy debt due to difficulties in affording payment.”