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Energy Communities and Energy Poverty: The Role of Energy Communities in Alleviating Energy Poverty

This JRC report explores energy communities as a potential solution for alleviating energy poverty in the EU, emphasising their ability to provide affordable energy services to low-income households, alongside highlighting common challenges. 


Publication date
7 December 2023 (Last updated on: 7 December 2023)
Directorate-General for Energy


Abstract: This JRC report examines the potential of energy communities to alleviate energy poverty, which affects an estimated 50 million households in the EU. Through a review of existing literature, cases, surveys and findings of key EU projects, we identify the main drivers and barriers to the participation of energy-poor households in community energy initiatives. We find that energy communities (legal entities that empower citizens, small businesses and local authorities to produce, manage and consume their own energy) have the potential to provide affordable and sustainable energy services to low-income households, while also promoting energy democracy and social cohesion. However, significant challenges remain, including the limited awareness and accessibility of energy communities, regulatory barriers, and funding constraints. To overcome these challenges, a range of policy and practical measures is needed, including targeted financial support, capacity-building for energy communities, and streamlined regulatory frameworks. We conclude that energy communities can play a crucial role in tackling energy poverty, but require concerted efforts from policymakers, energy providers, and civil society to realise their full potential.

Authors: Koukoufikis, G., Schockaert, H., Paci, D., Filippidou, F., Caramizaru, A., Della Valle, N., Candelise, C., Murauskaite-Bull, I., Uihlein, A.


JCR Report: Energy Communities and Energy Poverty