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Scientific paper

Towards a multiple-indicator approach to energy poverty in the European Union: A review


Publication date
15 June 2019
Provisional data


The term energy poverty (EP), mostly used to capture problems related to an inadequate access to energy suppliers in developing countries, and that of fuel poverty (FP), commonly employed when households suffer from insufficient monetary resources to pay for their basic energy needs, are used interchangeably by many researchers. Energy poverty and/or fuel poverty are considered to be an indication of domestic energy deprivation or energy vulnerability and remain a global problem that has been accentuated in Europe due to the economic crisis. This work has made a comprehensive review of the current concepts and indicators of FP, and of current initiatives to tackle this issue, across Europe, thereby raising the discussion of how energy vulnerability factors fit FP situations: available infrastructure, energy efficiency, social and economic poverty, and wellbeing and health. In this context, the first weak spot of the FP indicators and initiatives analyzed is that most factors that influence the everyday activities of a household are not considered (comfort, health, and wellbeing), resulting in an incomplete analysis if these are used in an isolated way.

This paper provides a multiple-indicator approach to understand an FP situation beyond its traditional definition, thereby establishing a starting point for the reflection of vulnerability in policy decisions and methodological implications.

Authors: Castaño-Rosa, R., Solís-Guzmán, J., Rubio-Bellido, C. and Marrero, M.


15 JUNE 2019
Towards a multiple-indicator approach to energy poverty in the European Union: A review