Among the nine Energy Community contracting parties, Kosovo* has the largest share of households living in energy poverty, up to 40 percent, and Montenegro the lowest, between 8 and 15 percent, according to a study on addressing energy poverty in the members of the Energy Community.
Efforts to address energy poverty are part of the Energy Community Just Transition Initiative to ensure that the transition from fossil fuels in the contracting parties is socially just, in the interest of entire communities.
Due to the lack of accurate data or data confidentiality, the study was able to estimate the share of energy poor households more accurately only in four contracting parties: Montenegro: 8-15%; Serbia: 7-22%; Ukraine: 13-18%; and partially Georgia: up to 24.6%.
For Albania, Kosovo*, and North Macedonia the study could provide only approximations, and for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Moldova not even that.
All energy poor customers don’t get support
Up to 37 percent of households suffer from energy poverty in Albania, compared to as much as 40 percent in Kosovo*, and up to 33 percent in North Macedonia, the study reads.
According to the report, the definition of vulnerable customers doesn’t secure support for all energy poor households. All members of the Energy Community define them with close relation to social or income and health status, putting aside the energy efficiency, gender and energy needs, the secretariat said.
Implemented measures don’t remove main causes of energy poverty
Another important deficiency in the regulatory frameworks is the type of measures implemented to help consumers living in energy poverty.
“Contracting parties implement only income supporting measures to protect vulnerable consumers. Such measures reduce the burden of energy poverty only temporarily without removing its main causes,” the secretariat said.
Energy efficiency measures are the most important
Recommended measures include support for the energy retrofit of buildings, replacement of household appliances, heating system improvements, and renewable energy sources support.
The study suggests the measures should also be included in national energy and climate plans (NECPs) and national energy efficiency action plans (NEEAPs).
The study was produced by the Society for Sustainable Development Design (DOOR), and the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar from Croatia.