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Measuring fuel poverty in France: Which households are the most fuel vulnerable?

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  • Legendre, Bérangère
  • Ricci, Olivia

Abstract

Fuel poverty is a growing concern in France. Following a hike in energy prices that started in 2004, the problem of energy affordability for low-income households entered the political debate with the “Grenelle de l'environnement” in 2007. According to the standard UK definition (more than 10% of income spent on domestic energy) 3.8 million households were subject to fuel poverty in France in 2006 however, this is according to one precise computation and other computations may offer differing conclusions. We question the way fuel poverty is currently measured and compare the impact of different existing measurement approaches on the extent and composition of fuel poverty in France. We then identify fuel vulnerable households as those households that are not ordinarily poor when considering income net of housing costs, but turn poor because of their domestic fuel expenses. A logit, a C log–log and a mixed effect logit model are used to analyse which factors influence the probability of being fuel vulnerable. Data analysis indicates that the proportion of fuel poor people and their characteristics differ significantly depending on the fuel poverty measure chosen. The econometric results show that the probability of being fuel vulnerable is higher for those who are retired, living alone, rent their home, use an individual boiler for heating, cook with butane or propane and have poor roof insulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Legendre, Bérangère & Ricci, Olivia, 2015. "Measuring fuel poverty in France: Which households are the most fuel vulnerable?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 620-628.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:49:y:2015:i:c:p:620-628
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2015.01.022
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fuel poverty; Fuel vulnerable households; Poverty indicators; Econometric model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General

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