Energy Poverty in Europe: A Multidimensional Approach
Keywords:Energy Poverty, Fuel Poverty, Multidimensional Poverty, Fuzzy Analysis
With the European Commission’s “Third Energy Package”, the challenges posed by energy poverty have been recently acknowledged by European legislation. The paper develops a synthetic indicator of energy poverty for the purpose of assessing households’ well-being across different domains of inequality in access to energy services and to a healthy domestic environment. These dimensions are broadly defined in terms of energy affordability and thermal efficiency, two of the main manifestations of energy poverty. The analysis focuses on Europe and expands on existing economic literature by employing a fuzzy analysis for the definition of a multidimensional energy poverty index, which is then used to investigate the role of individual and household characteristics in shaping energy poverty. We find that during the European crisis energy poverty has been more stable than monetary poverty, and that thermal efficiency plays a crucial role in shaping individual and countries’ average degrees of energy poverty.
JEL codes: I32; Q41; D10; D63
Atkinson A.B., Marlier E. (2010), Income and Living Conditions in Europe, EUROSTAT Statistical Books, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Available at: ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3217494/5722557/KS-31-10-555-EN.PDF.
Boardman B. (1991), Fuel Poverty: From Cold Homes to Affordable Warmth, London: Belhaven Press.
Botti F., D’Ippoliti C. (2014), “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (that You Are Poor). Sexual Orientation and Social Exclusion in Italy”, Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, vol. 49, pp. 8-25.
Bouzarovski S. (2011), “Energy Poverty in the EU: A Review of the Evidence”, presented at the DG Regio workshop Cohesion Policy: Investing in Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Brussels, 29 November. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/archive/conferences/energy2011nov/doc/papers/bouzarovski_eu_energy_poverty_background%20paper.pdf
Bouzarovski, S., Petrova, S., and Sarlamanov, R. (2012), “Energy poverty policies in the EU: A critical perspective”, Energy Policy 49, 76-82.
Bouzarovski S., Petrova S. (2015), “A Global Perspective on Domestic Energy Deprivation: Overcoming the Energy Poverty–Fuel Poverty Binary”, Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 10, pp. 31-40.
Bouzarovski S. (2014), “Energy Poverty in the European Union: Landscapes of Vulnerability”, WIREs Energy and Environment, vol. 3 n. 2, pp. 276-289.
Bouzarovski S., Tirado Herrero S. (2017), “The Energy Divide: Integrating Energy Transitions, Regional Inequalities and Poverty Trends in the European Union”, European Urban and Regional Studies, vol. 24 n. 1, pp. 69-86.
Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) (2014), Alleviating Fuel Poverty in the EU: Investing in Home Renovation, a Sustainable and Inclusive Solution, Brussels: Buildings Performance Institute Europe. Available at: http://bpie.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Alleviating-fuel-poverty.pdf.
Buzar S. (2007), “The ‘Hidden’ Geographies of Energy Poverty in Post-Socialism: Between Institutions and Households”, Geoforum, vol. 38 n. 2, pp. 224-240.
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) (2013), “Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee ‘For Coordinated European Measures to Prevent and Combat Energy Poverty’”, Official Journal of the European Union, C 341, 21 November, TEN/516-EESC-2013.
European Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Project (EPEE) (2009), Tackling Fuel Poverty in Europe. Recommendations Guide for Policy Makers, Brussels: European Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Project.
European Commission (2010), “An Energy Policy for Customers”, Commission Staff Working Paper, SEC(2010) 1407 final, Brussels: European Commission. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents /sec%282010%291407.pdf.
Faiella I., Lavecchia L. (2015), “Energy Poverty in Italy”, Politica Economica/Journal of Economic Policy, vol. 31, pp. 27-76.
Fowler T., Southgate R.J., Waite T., Harrell R., Kovats S., Bone A., Murray V. (2014), “Excess Winter Deaths in Europe: A multi-Country Descriptive Analysis”, The European Journal of Public Health, vol. 25 n. 2, pp. 339-345.
Gordon D., Adelman L., Ashworth K., Bradshaw J., Levitas R., Middleton S., Pantazis C., Patsios D., Payne S., Townsend P., Williams J. (2000), Poverty and Social Exclusion in Britain, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Guertler P. (2012), “Can the Green Deal Be Fair Too? Exploring New Possibilities for Alleviating Fuel Poverty”, Energy Policy, vol. 49, October, pp. 91-97.
Healy J.D. (2003), “Excess Winter Mortality in Europe: A Cross Country Analysis Identifying Key Risk Factors”, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 57 n. 10, pp. 784-789.
Healy J.D., Clinch P. (2004), “Quantifying the Severity of Fuel Poverty, Its Relationship with Poor Housing and Reasons for Non-Investment in Energy-Saving Measures in Ireland”, Energy Policy, vol. 32 n. 2, pp. 207-220.
Hills J. (2012), “Getting the Measure of Fuel Poverty: Final Report of the Fuel Poverty Review”, CASEreport, n. 72, London: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science. Available at: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43153/1/CASEreport72%28lsero%29.pdf
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Energy Agency (IEA) (2017), Sustainable Energy for All Global Tracking Framework. Progress towards Sustainable Energy 2017, Washington (DC): The World Bank.
Jenkins K., McCauley D., Heffron R., Stephan H., Rehner R. (2016), “Energy Justice: A Conceptual Review”, Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 11, January, pp. 174-182.
Liddell C., Morris C. (2010), “Fuel Poverty and Human Health: A Review of Recent Evidence”, Energy Policy, vol. 38 n. 6, pp. 2987-2997.
Liddell C., Morris C., McKenzie P., Rae G. (2011), Defining Fuel Poverty in Northern Ireland: A Preliminary Review, Belfast: Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland.
Marmot Review Team (2011), Health Impacts of Cold Homes and Fuel Poverty, London: Friends of the Earth (FOE) and Marmot Review Team. Available at: http://fuelpovertyni.org/wp-content/uploads/Cold-Homes-Health-Fuel-Poverty-Marmot-Report-May-2011.pdf
Miniaci R., Scarpa C., Valbonesi P. (2014), “Energy Affordability and the Benefits System in Italy”, Energy Policy, vol. 75, pp. 289-300.
Moore R. (2012), “Definitions of Fuel Poverty: Implications for Policy”, Energy Policy, vol. 49, pp. 19-26.
Pye S., Dobbins A. (2015), “Energy Poverty and Vulnerable Consumers in the Energy Sector across the EU: Analysis of Policies and Measures”, Insight_e Policy Report, n. 2, Brussels: Insight_e.
Sefton T. (2002), “Targeting Fuel Poverty in England: Is the Government Getting Warm?”, Fiscal Studies, vol. 23 n. 3, pp. 369-399.
Thomson H., Snell C. (2013), “Quantifying the Prevalence of Fuel Poverty across the European Union”, Energy Policy, vol. 52, 563-572.
Trinomics (2016), Selecting Indicators to Measure Energy Poverty, available at: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/Selecting%20Indicators%20to%20Measure%20Energy%20Poverty.pdf
Vulnerable Consumers Working Group (2013), Guidance Document on Vulnerable Consumers, available at: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/20140106_vulnerable_consumer_report_0.pdf
Walker G., Day R. (2012), “Fuel Poverty As Injustice: Integrating Distribution, Recognition and Procedure in the Struggle for Affordable Warmth”, Energy Policy, vol. 49, pp. 69-75.
Whyley C., Callender C. (1997), Fuel Poverty in Europe: Evidence from the European Household Panel Survey, Newcastle upon Tyne: National Energy Action.
Wright F. (2004), “Old and Cold: Older People and Policies Failing to Address Fuel Poverty”, Social Policy Administration, vol. 38 n. 5, pp. 488-503.