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Energy affordability in the EU: The risks of metric driven policies



This paper provides a pan-EU mapping of energy affordability using energy expenditure shares. Large variations in energy expenditure shares are identified, with the shares being significantly higher in New Member States than the EU15. First, these variations indicate that a single expenditure-based pan-EU fuel poverty metric is problematic; there is a trade-off between a metric identifying households in most need within individual Member States and one identifying households in a similar position across Member States. Second, household-level data from the UK, France and the Republic of Ireland are used to simulate the impact of ‘policy interventions’, involving energy expenditure reductions or income increases, on the recorded rate of fuel poverty. These simulations highlight that emphasising high-level fuel poverty metrics may distort policymakers’ choices towards improving the ‘picture’ of fuel poverty rather than maximising welfare improvements. Robust impact assessments identifying the fuel poverty interventions which deliver the greatest welfare increases for a given cost offer a better means of policy evaluation.

Suggested Citation

  • Deller, David, 2018. "Energy affordability in the EU: The risks of metric driven policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 168-182.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:119:y:2018:i:c:p:168-182
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.03.033

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    Cited by:

    1. Harry R Kennard & Gesche M Huebner & David Shipworth & Tadj Oreszczyn, 2020. "The associations between thermal variety and health: Implications for space heating energy use," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(7), pages 1-12, July.
    2. Wagner, Oliver & Wiegand, Julia, 2018. "Prepayment metering: Household experiences in Germany," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 407-414.
    3. Llorca, Manuel & Rodriguez-Alvarez, Ana & Jamasb, Tooraj, 2020. "Objective vs. subjective fuel poverty and self-assessed health," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    4. Rodriguez-Alvarez, Ana & Orea, Luis & Jamasb, Tooraj, 2019. "Fuel poverty and Well-Being:A consumer theory and stochastic frontier approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 22-32.
    5. Marchand, Robert & Genovese, Andrea & Koh, S.C. Lenny & Brennan, Alan, 2019. "Examining the relationship between energy poverty and measures of deprivation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 206-217.
    6. Danila Longo & Giulia Olivieri & Rossella Roversi & Giulia Turci & Beatrice Turillazzi, 2020. "Energy Poverty and Protection of Vulnerable Consumers. Overview of the EU Funding Programs FP7 and H2020 and Future Trends in Horizon Europe," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(5), pages 1-17, February.
    7. Lisa Bagnoli & Salvador Bertomeu, 2021. "How Effective has the Electricity Social Rate been in Reducing Energy Poverty in Spain?," Working Papers ECARES 2021-05, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Dalia Streimikiene & Vidas Lekavičius & Tomas Baležentis & Grigorios L. Kyriakopoulos & Josef Abrhám, 2020. "Climate Change Mitigation Policies Targeting Households and Addressing Energy Poverty in European Union," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(13), pages 1-24, July.


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