Adequate warmth, cooling, lighting, and energy to power appliances are essential services needed to guarantee energy-efficient homes and a decent standard of living, thermal comfort, and citizens' health. Energy poor households experience inadequate levels of these essential energy services. Increased access to these energy services empowers European citizens to fulfill their potential in the energy transition and enhances social inclusion.
Energy poverty occurs when energy bills represent a high percentage of consumers' income, affecting their capacity to cover other expenses. It can also occur when consumers are forced to reduce the energy consumption of their households, and consequently, this affects their physical and mental health and well-being. Additionally, low household incomes, inefficient buildings and appliances, and specific household energy needs contribute to the challenge. It is estimated that over 34 million people in the European Union are experiencing energy poverty to various degrees, with the most vulnerable demographic groups being the most affected.