he European Commission has published a study examining how low-cost energy efficiency measures can help low-income households. It also reviews the EU funding programmes available to fund schemes promoting these measures.
As a result of high energy prices, low incomes or poor housing conditions, many Europeans have difficulties paying their energy bills, and are therefore in 'energy poverty'. One way of dealing with energy poverty is to promote the use of energy efficiency measures, because saving energy results in lower bills for consumers. These measures can include greater use of power- and water-saving devices and better building insulation, as well as advice about how to be more energy efficient on a daily basis. Low-cost measures do not replace more expensive ways of improving energy efficiency, such as major building renovations, but they can be very effective on their own.
The study looks at 24 schemes in different countries that are helping people on low incomes make use of low-cost energy efficiency measures. It analyses what factors make a scheme successful and suggests a number of good practice recommendations. For example, these schemes work better if they involve collaboration with local health and social services, and it is important for them to ensure that people in low-income households understand how being more energy efficient can help them in practical ways. The study also considers the wider benefits of these schemes, such as the opportunities they provide for unemployed people to learn new skills.
In addition, the study contains information about the EU funds supporting the promotion of energy efficiency measures. These include the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, and the European Social Fund, as well as Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding programme.