- Publication date
- 22 July 2020
- Directorate-General for Energy
This resource is a guide for identifying, understanding, and documenting the different social and economic benefits of addressing energy poverty. Adequate warmth, cooling, lighting, and the energy to power appliances are essential services needed to guarantee a decent standard of living and citizens' health. Energy poverty occurs when a household suffers from a lack of adequate access to energy services in the home.
Energy poverty is a distinct form of poverty associated with a range of adverse consequences for people’s health and wellbeing. Low indoor temperatures are linked with the exacerbation of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses while overheating and the lack of access to adequate cooling is linked to heat stroke, stress, and excess deaths. In fact, energy poverty has an indirect impact on many policy areas - including health and social care, education, economic growth, and reducing carbon emissions. Addressing energy poverty has the potential to bring multiple benefits, including less money spent by governments on health, higher levels of educational attainment, better comfort and wellbeing, economic development, and reducing carbon emissions.
This resource aims to help EU organisations and Member States to identify, understand and document these multiple benefits. It explains the impacts that energy poverty has on four different areas: carbon emissions, economic development, educational attainment, and health and wellbeing. It also sets out the benefits to these areas of addressing energy poverty.