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Energy poverty may affect nearly 11% of the EU population

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According to the EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU SILC) conducted in 2012, about 54 million European citizens (10.8% of the EU population) were unable to adequately heat their homes. A particularly pervasive problem is highlighted in Central Eastern European and Southern Europe Member States.


The European Commission has published a new study on the state of energy poverty across Europe. It shows that a number of EU countries do not as yet identify or quantify vulnerable consumers, and therefore cannot adequately target energy poverty measures, with less than a third of EU countries officially recognising energy poverty. 


The study found that financial interventions are a crucial means for the short-term protection for vulnerable consumers, while in the longer-term, energy efficiency measures for the retrofitting of buildings are a key part of addressing energy poverty. It recognises the need for strong incentives to encourage low income households to put energy efficiency measures in place and raising awareness, and says that transparent billing and price comparison information are necessary in order to make better energy choices. 


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