[17.11.23] “Combatting Energy Poverty in Europe” Conference Addresses Urgent Concerns and Proposes Solutions

The conference, “Combatting Energy Poverty in Europe: Towards an Inclusive and Just Energy Transition,” held in Brussels on November 16, and co-organised by the International Union of Property Owners (UIPI), the ENPOR project, and the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) focused on evaluating and enhancing measures to address energy poverty within the European private rented sector.

Despite the European Union’s commitment to tackling energy poverty, Eurostat reports a worrying increase from 6.9% to 9.3% of the EU population struggling to adequately heat their homes. The conference aimed to assess existing national policies in view of current EU objectives and policies actions to tackle energy poverty and fight against climate change and explore necessary improvements, emphasising the urgency for transformative measures.

The sessions delved into various tools, breakthrough initiatives, and good practices to combat energy poverty, with a particular focus on the private rented sector. A noteworthy exploration included the Social Rental Agency model, a promising solution connecting unoccupied apartments with disadvantaged households.

The conference featured a panel of EU policy-makers, experts and practitioners, including representatives from EU institutions, flagships European projects to combat energy poverty (ENPOR, EnergyMeasures and ComAct), and the ENPOR pilot countries – Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia, Austria and Greece. These experts shared insights and experiences to address the complex challenges associated with energy poverty in the private rented sector.

Discussions centered around the ENPOR project’s key recommendations, emphasizing the need for targeted information standardised definitions, integrated strategies for building renovations as well as specific tools, training for key professions such as social workers, engagement of local stakeholders.
As Europe faces the escalating challenge of energy poverty, the conference’s findings and proposed solutions aim to guide policymakers and practitioners towards effective, sustainable strategies to combat this pressing issue.