[24.04.23 – online] Reducing energy poverty in the Private Rented Sector: How to reach tenants 

Recording now available

Energy poverty is a socio-economic phenomenon caused by a triad of low income, high energy expenses, and poor energy efficiency in buildings, and has been accelerated by recent events in Europe’s climate, health, and political spheres.

In 2020, it was estimated that around 36 million people in the EU were unable to keep their homes adequately warm, with the private rented sector (PRS) being most affected due to its position as the least energy-efficient among all housing sectors, while also having the most elevated levels of energy poverty. With the alleviation of energy poverty gaining increasing attention and importance within EU-wide and Member States’ climate ambitions, as can be seen in the European Green Deal, the Fit-for-55 Package, and the 2023 updates of the National Energy and Climate Plans, the PRS should not be discounted as an avenue of achieving a just transition towards climate neutrality, as the sector is growing in market size, meaning that it’s impact on EU energy and climate will grow proportionally.

This thematic seminar, focusing on how to reach energy-poor households – and more specifically tenants – in order to pass on knowledge of technical and behavioral energy saving measures, programs, and funds, demonstrated a number of successful and replicable methods to connect with tenants of the PRS, with the aim of:

i) increasing their knowledge on energy efficiency measures and

ii) decreasing their levels of energy poverty, thereby contributing to a just energy transition.

Examples of best practice approaches were presented by Anamari Majdandžić (DOOR) about how to conduct research in the field and connect with the Private Rented Sector (PRS) using the experience of ENPOR, POWERPOOR, EPAH and EmpowerMed.

Christos Tourkolias (CRES) and Vicky Tzega (EKPIZO) presented the Greek experience related to reaching the target group of tenants/landlords, while Martijn Rietbergen (HU) presented how to reach tenants in the Netherlands and relayed the experiences of the Energy Box.

Finally, Paula Damaška (ZEZ), representing the CREES project, discussed crowdfunding for Energy boxes and shared their experience of reaching energy poor households.