• 29 Jan 2018

    European Commission launches EU Energy Poverty Observatory

    The new EU Energy Poverty Observatory was launched today at an event in Brussels hosted by Energy Union Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete.

    Roughly 9% of the EU population struggle to attain adequate warmth. The Observatory aims to support informed decision making at local, regional and national level by providing a user-friendly and open-access resource that will promote public engagement on the issue of energy poverty as well as serve to disseminate information and good practice among public and private stakeholders.

    One of the three pillars of the Covenant of Mayors' vision for 2050 is to ensure “universal access to secure, sustainable and affordable energy”.

    The Covenant of Mayors provides information on access to funding for clean energy or energy efficiency projects that contribute to reducing energy poverty, as shown by Liepaja, Latvia, where a switch from gas to biomass in local cogeneration plant with a co-funding from the cohesion policy funds helped achieve a 6% decrease in district heating tariff in 3 years.

    As shown by the case of Porto, Portugal, regeneration of depredated areas associated with energy performance improvements is a way to tackle energy poverty. Indeed, in the regenerated Rainha Dona Leonor neighborhood, the rise of rents has been offset by a reduction of residents energy costs of almost 70%.

    "We make our economy grow, transform technology... we have to stop and wonder if anyone is left behind. Society is measured by its ability to care for its most vulnerable citizens," Vice-President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic said during today's event.

    A dedicated new Observatory website has gone live this morning. It notably provides a resource section (best practices, policy measures...), a discussion forum, indicators and data on energy poverty and includes a free membership scheme aiming at developing networking.

    Many Covenant of Mayors cities are implementing ambitious measures to tackle energy poverty. Discover their case studies in our online Library!

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