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Energy Poverty Advisory Hub
News article10 January 2023Directorate-General for Energy

EPAH lunch talk #2 takeaways - developing a holistic approach and using sets of differents indicators

This second EPAH lunch talk discuss the importance of indicators in energy poverty assessments at local scale. Understanding and selecting appropriate indicators and having up-to-date data is important for

  • Member-States in order to design and implement effective strategies, in line with the national targets),
  • for local governments to carry out in-depth diagnosis and develop local plans
  • for researchers to develop new methods, provide enriched analysis and support policy making

Several key points were raised during the collective discussion:

The diagnosis gains different values when done at different scales. At national level understanding the overall energy poverty condition helps building strategies and wider targets. On local level, the diagnosis helps to create a better image of who are the vulnerable groups, what are the specificities of energy poverty and monitor impacts in a more effective way. It is important to adopt and area-based approach in order to develop impactful actions.

Experts underline the need to have a holistic approach and use sets of different indicators. This approach is important to overcome the limits and shortcomings that each indictors contains if evaluated individually. Making connections between indicators that cover different dimension (economic, building, climate, etc) helps to link causes and consequences of energy poverty and refine the analysis. Remember that “there is no solution that fits all” Joao Gouveia, and that ‘’it is important to look at alternative methods to get data’’ added Pedro Palma.

Another important of discussion was about the need to have up-to-date data and the possibility to properly analyze the cross-cutting elements of it.

The best indicators are timely indicators that portray the most recent picture of energy poverty levels.” underlined Joao Gouveia to express how the external factors influence can significantly change the situation, as we experienced also in the past year, and it is important to be aware of this conditions.

Different members of the audience expressed concern about the difficulties to access the data at the local level due to lack of data or to the different limits introduced for privacy and data protection reasons or by lack of collaboration among departments of the same municipality. For this reason it is important to promote collaboration across different departments. Moreover, when it is time to analyze the data it can be that they are presented in different format several format and scales within the different departments, making more complicated the process.

It was also mentioned the difficulties for municipal workers to collect and analyse data and the need to provide specific capacity building and trainings in order to develop these skills.

One important point was raised during the conversation and that EPAH team share:

Don’t stay stuck with lack of data! work with what you have and try, said Carmen Sanchez Guevara (School of Architecture, Technical University of Madrid). Trial and error can work anyway to increase your knowledge.

Material to go further:


Publication date
10 January 2023
Directorate-General for Energy