[06.11.23] Infographic and report: The gender dimension in European energy efficiency policy support and means to address it

Studies have found that across Europe, household energy consumption varies according to a number of demographic factors, including gender, yet energy policy at pan-European, national and regional levels continues to be designed for a “gender-neutral” energy consumer (Clancy and Roehr, 2003).

Nevertheless, pervasive gender inequality in society, gendered care responsibilities and household labour, lower incomes and the higher likelihood of being a single parent were identified as key drivers of energy poverty amongst women across Europe (Petrova and Simcock, 2021). Current policy barriers were highlighted as being a dearth of sex-disaggregated multi-scalar data on gender and energy poverty, a lack of awareness of gender disparities, inaccessibility and untargeted current policy, and a general lack of representation in all areas of policy- and decision-making (Feenstra, 2022).

This report brings together the findings of an in-depth narrative literature review, a policy analysis and a scoping survey of relevant stakeholders to generate a number of policy recommendations to address the gender dimension in energy efficiency policy.

The overarching recommendations arising from the report are:

  • Policies must address the underlying, structural causes of gender inequality and vulnerability to energy poverty.
  • Improved data collection and identification of policy beneficiaries.
  • Creating policy that accounts for the needs of women and families.
  • Increased accessibility to enhance women’s uptake of energy policies.
  • Improved representation of women in the energy sector and in policymaking.
  • Integration of energy efficiency policy with measures to tackle other gendered environmental injustices.