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Energy poverty in South East Europe: Surviving the cold

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The present report on energy poverty in South East Europe (SEE) is the outcome of The South East Europe Policy (SEE SEP) programme, a European Commission financially supported programme in which several civil society organisations across the region came together to better influence energy policies and practices in SEE.


Within its 50 pages, this report, describes, in brief, the energy poverty situation in 7 countries of South East Europe (Albania, Bosnia &Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) highlighting for governments the extent of the problem and the suffering caused. It outlines the daily life of the energy poor in the region, based on results from in situ surveys undertaken in all seven countries and reviews the national legislation on social vulnerability and energy poverty. In addition to that, the analysis addresses the next key policy steps to be taken by each country in order to design and implement more effective measures for protecting the most vulnerable groups. Furthermore, a special focus is given on health impacts of energy poverty in the SEE analysing the magnitude of health consequences. Concluding, a roadmap to counterbalance the significant problem of energy poverty and alleviate the energy poor in SEE is presented and specific recommendations are given.


In general, the state of the investigated building stock in the aforementioned countries and its energy performance is substantially inefficient. Deteriorated dwellings built before 1990 with partial insulation or none at all, equipped with single glazed windows and inefficient heating systems such as individual wood stoves or old central heating systems without the possibility of regulating temperature or distributing heat evenly across rooms, best describe the existing situation. As a result, high energy consumption and questionable indoor air quality set the scene for the energy poor people.


The message from this study is clear “All this clearly indicates that immediate action is needed not only because there is, to an extent, a humanitarian crisis on the rise in certain population groups, but also because investing in the alleviation of energy poverty means improving the economy and decreasing energy import dependency. It also protects the environment and climate by decreasing deforestation rates and eliminating unnecessary CO2 emissions.”


To download and read the full report, please visit the webpage at the link provided below.