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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Energy poverty in the European Union: landscapes of vulnerability

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Energy poverty can be seen as situation in which a household lacks a socially and materially necessitated level of energy services in the home. In the context of the European Union (EU), its causes and consequences largely coincide with those of the more narrowly defined notion of ‘fuel poverty’, which has attracted a significant amount of public attention, scientific research, and state policy in Ireland and the UK. Outside of these two countries, however, EU energy poverty scholarship, debates, and policies are embryonic. From the limited amount of research that has been published to date, it is possible to conclude that the condition is predicated upon high energy prices, low household incomes, inefficient buildings and appliances, and specific households energy needs. It is particularly widespread in Eastern, Central, and Southern Europe, where it tends to affect groups who are already vulnerable to income poverty. Recent years have seen a conceptual shift in the mainstream theorization of domestic energy deprivation, onto more complex and nuanced issues of household needs, built environment flexibility, and social resilience. This article is categorized under: Energy Efficiency > Economics and Policy Energy Policy and Planning > Economics and Policy Energy and Development > Systems and Infrastructure
Changes in the energy burden versus relative and absolute poverty in Poland between 2002 and 2010. Created using data from Central Statistical Office, Household Budget Surveys in 2010.
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Values of the energy poverty indicators described in Figure  for 2010 (extrapolations from 2009 data have been made in cases where 2010 data are not available). Created using data from Eurostat's Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) survey.
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A composite fuel poverty indicator based on the shares of populations in different EU countries facing selected energy poverty‐related problems, with the values of the three ‘objective’ measures divided by 3 (2003–2009 average). Created using data from Eurostat's Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) survey.
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Components of a conceptualization of energy poverty via a vulnerability lens.
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Energy Efficiency > Economics and Policy
Energy and Development > Systems and Infrastructure
Energy Policy and Planning > Economics and Policy

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