ENPOR at a glance

Energy poverty – or vulnerability- is a critical factor for a fair energy transition. Alleviating its impact in the private rented sector is a challenge because it can be hidden. ENPOR, a project funded by the EU programme Horizon 2020, increases the capacity of the decision-makers to understand and mitigate its effects by designing and implementing ten policies.

Energy poverty remains at high levels in the EU Member States due to increasing energy costs and slow progress on energy efficiency improvements. Despite various policies in place that directly or indirectly mitigate energy poverty in the household level, energy poverty is increasing in the private rented sector.

The sector also presents quite specific issues that cannot be dealt adequately in the framework of energy poverty linked directly to energy efficiency, such as: 

  1. the high fragmentation of the sector and the consequential difficulty to target/address the considerable amount of owners and tenants active in the PRS,
  2. the lack of targeted policies and incentives (in comparison with what has been done in the social housing or the homeowners’ sectors),
  3. the difficulty to identify and quantify energy-poor households in the PRS; and  
  4. the delivery of energy efficiency measures to these households is difficult due to structural problems like information deficits, split incentives, and others. 

ENPOR aims to overcome both challenges – making energy poverty in the PRS visible (and as far as possible quantifiable) and testing energy efficiency support schemes to address it, identifying energy poor tenants (and respective homeowners) as well as understanding and addressing their needs. 

ENPOR’s objectives:

  • Deepen understanding on energy poverty policies for the private rented sector – ENPOR will examine, assess and synthesise 30 energy efficiency policies that tackle energy poverty in the PRS sector across the EU to better understand the factors that trigger or prevent energy efficiency investments.
  • Monitor dimensions of energy poverty in the private rented sector – ENPOR will develop the Energy Poverty Dashboard, which will reveal the geographies of energy poverty in the PRS and help detect, quantify and monitor the effects of energy efficiency policies on energy poverty, including its hidden forms. It will thus examine aspects of poverty in the PRS (such as physical health, mental health and well-being) and their links to gender and other social dimensions to define suitable measures for energy poverty alleviation as a result of specific policies. Indicators will be developed to adjust policies to better address specificities of the PRS, and ultimately assist in calculating the ENPOR impacts. These indicators will also investigate structural factors (for instance by showing how many female-headed households live in private rented housing and are unable to invest in energy efficiency) leading to split incentives, lock-in effects and gender issues as barriers to energy efficiency in PRS.
  • Support the set-up and implementation of energy efficiency policies to alleviate energy poverty in the private rented sector – ENPOR will support the implementation of 10 energy efficiency policies and measures for energy poverty in the PRS in 7 MS.

To this aim, ENPOR will:

Examine in depth energy poverty policies for the PRS across the EU (creating policy fiches and elaborate policy suggestions with politicians)

Support the adaptation and implementation of ten policies in 7 Member States tailored to the specific needs of the PRS and will integrate them into broader policy objectives

Monitor the dimensions of energy poverty in the PRS (create an Energy Poverty Dashboard: online tool mapping energy poverty in Europe)

Provide a structured knowledge exchange platform and guidelines for other countries (organising events for municipalities, energy agencies and energy-poor tenants and their landlords

Importance of having different types of partners on board and REACT groups

The ENPOR networks (such as Climate Alliance) will exchange lessons of policies in the CoM, while market representatives(such as UIPI) will disseminate these experiences. The UoM (coordinating the EU EPOV) will expose the ENPOR findings to related EU partners and maximize synergies with national and regional initiatives on energy poverty. The participation of energy agencies in ENPOR will enable local partners (e.g. healthcare sector, local government) in implementing policies, providing outreach, and engaging households in/at risk of being in energy poverty.

What are the REACT groups? Regional Energy Action (REACT) groups will be created based on stakeholder engagement strategies, with the aim to co-create the ENPOR policies, discuss insights, provide monitoring data and facilitate the adoption of the policies by households, property owners and related market players.

The members in REACT groups are the organisations involved in the energy efficiency value chain (from ministries to households), who can contribute to solutions:

  • Landlords/ Co-owners’ associations: Validating the feasibility of policies from the owners’ perspective and help them to renovate their stock and identify tenants at risk of energy poverty.
  • Charitable and social work associations: Experience how to identify and communicate with energy poor households, support landlords in making their stock more energy efficiency.
  • Energy Agency/ Energy consultants: Insights how to improve energy consulting and realise effective policy implementation.
  • Municipality/regional/ national policymakers: Feedback on proposed policy design, enablers of replicability and provision of legislative and policy support and infrastructure.
  • Citizens groups/NGOs: Demonstrating the needs, types of support they require, providing information on acceptability of the support scheme, providing bottom up insights.
  • Utilities: As main actors in rolling out social tariffs, discounts and various other energy poverty alleviating schemes, utilities can give feedback on their viability.

The REACT groups will meet online 2-3 times/year and take part in the national meetings. The added value of ENPOR is that it involves in the ongoing dialogue of the REACT groups both angles, the landlords (through UIPI and its members) and the tenants (IUT). • •