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The 2016 Commission’s winter package - Does it address energy poverty?

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Energy poverty is a major challenge across the EU, and has its root in low incomes and energy inefficient housing. The winter package presents a new approach to protect vulnerable consumers.


The Commission's energy efficiency proposals ask Member States (MS) to take energy poverty into account, by:


  1. reducing the costs of energy for consumers through support in energy efficiency investments; and
  2. requiring a share of energy efficiency measures to be implemented as a priority in households affected by energy poverty or in social housing.

Their long-term building renovation strategies should also contribute to the alleviation of energy poverty.


As part of the process, MS will have to monitor and report on energy poverty while the Commission will facilitate the exchange of best practices and coordinate these monitoring efforts at EU level via an Energy Poverty Observatory. Furthermore, the Commission proposes certain procedural safeguards before a consumer can be disconnected.