Name of presentation

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The growing phenomenon of
fuel poverty across the
European Union
Harriet Thomson
www.fuelpoverty.eu
Background
• Only the UK, Ireland and France have a definition
• Evident from the literature that fuel poverty is a problem
across Europe:
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Whyley and Callender (1997) – UK, IE, NL, DE
Healy and Clinch (2002) – EU14
Buzar (2007) – Eastern Europe
EPEE (2009) – BE, FR, IT, ES, UK
Tirado Herrero and Ürge-Vorsatz (2010) – Hungary
Huybrechs, Meyer and Vranken (2012) - Belgium
Thomson and Snell (2012) – EU25
• Significant gap in knowledge
Studying fuel poverty at the EU level
• The EU is a powerful political and economic institution
that has shaped fuel poverty relevant policy at the
member state level, e.g.
–
–
–
–
–
Liberalisation of the gas and electricity markets
Europe 2020 targets
Requirements for national fuel poverty action plans
Requirements for national energy ombudsmen
EU Emissions Trading Scheme
• Data issues
– No standardised fuel expenditure data
– UK unique in having a detailed housing survey
(EHCS/EHS)
– Available data is difficult to access and has weaknesses
PhD methods
• Longitudinal analysis of consensual data
– EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions
– Multilevel modelling
• Additional data analysis
– Gas and electricity prices
– Energy efficiency data
– Eurobarometer and European Quality of Life Survey
• Content analysis of policy documents
Overall, create a typology of EU fuel poverty
Consensual measurement
• EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions
• Three key proxy indicators:
α) Ability to pay to keep the home adequately warm
β) Arrears on utility bills within last 12 months
γ) Presence of a leaking roof, damp walls or rotten windows
• Composite index developed using the following
weights for each proxy indicator:
Scenario
Weighting
One
0.50 α + 0.25 β + 0.25 γ
Two
0.25 α + 0.50 β + 0.25 γ
Three
0.25 α + 0.25 β + 0.50 γ
Four
0.33 α + 0.33 β + 0.33 γ
Source: Thomson and Snell (2012)
Comparison of twice national median fuel spend
and composite consensual measurement
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Twice national median fuel spend (2005 HBS)
Composite consensual measure (2007 EU-SILC)
Source: European Commission (2010) and author analysis of EU-SILC
Summary
• European fuel poverty research is constrained by the
lack of comparable data on household fuel spend,
necessitating the use of proxy indicators
• Initial analysis confirms previous findings concerning
European fuel poverty, and demonstrates that fuel
poverty is a problem for most Member States
• Despite this, levels of acknowledgement and acceptance
of fuel poverty as a policy problem are low across the
EU, with only three official definitions
Thank you for listening, any
questions or comments?
[email protected]
www.fuelpoverty.eu
References
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Buzar, S. (2007) Energy Poverty in Eastern Europe: Hidden
Geographies of Deprivation. Aldershot: Ashgate
EPEE, (2009) Tackling Fuel Poverty in Europe: Recommendations
Guide for Policy Makers. http://www.fuelpoverty.com/files/WP5_D15_EN.pdf
European Commission (2010a) Commission Staff Working Paper: An
Energy Policy for Consumers. European Commission, Brussels.
Healy, J. D., and Clinch, P. (2002) Fuel poverty in Europe: A crosscountry analysis using a new composite measure. Environmental
Studies Research Series, University College Dublin.
Huybrechs F., Meyer S. and Vranken J. (2012) Energiearmoede in
België.[online] http://www.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?c=*OASES&n=104242
Thomson, H., and Snell, C. (2012) Quantifying the prevalence of fuel
poverty across the European Union. Energy Policy,
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2012.10.009
Tirado Herrero, S. and Ürge-Vorsatz, D. (2010) Fuel poverty in
Hungary: A first assessment. Final report. Center for Climate Change
and Sustainable Energy Policy, Central European University.
Whyley, C. and Callender, C., (1997) Fuel poverty in Europe: evidence
from the European Household Panel Survey. National Energy Action,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
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