The civil society organizations (CSOs) of the South East Europe Sustainable Energy Policy (SEE SEP) program presented a new report on energy poverty (Energy Poverty in South East Europe: Surviving the Cold) in the SEE region at the Parliamentary Plenum Meeting of Energy Community in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The report presents findings of 17 CSO partners from ex-Yugoslavia countries and Albania, and it was financially supported by the European Commission. In the research for the report, 833 households were visited.
50-pages report gives general introduction of energy poverty in the SEE context, but also provides reviews for every individual country. These reviews include general information, specific statistical data important for understanding the energy consumption in the households, national legislation framework for this sector and a key steps for tackling energy poverty.
Underlined key steps vary, depending on a country, but they can be summarized in a few key areas: implementing legislation in line with EU recommendations, defining energy poverty to enable or to improve monitoring and broaden the definition of vulnerability while shifting the focus from financial measures to supporting energy efficiency.
“Energy efficiency measures would reduce energy consumption while increasing the level of comfort. Improving the energy efficiency of dwellings and of household appliances, while improving the heating and ventilation systems is the most effective and sustainable approach to alleviating energy poverty. These solutions would also help mitigate the effects of climate change, that is in accordance with the Paris Agreement that most SEE countries agreed to at COP21”, notes the following statement about the report.
One of the key messages underlined by authors is that “energy poverty is a social issue requiring primarily technical energy solutions followed by financial support mechanisms”.