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Fuel poverty and the energy benefits system: The Italian case

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  • Raffaele Miniaci
  • Carlo Scarpa
  • Paola Valbonesi

Abstract

In this paper we discuss a number of ways to define and measure the affordability of energy consumption, and we examine the emergence of fuel poverty in Italy in the period from 1998 to 2011. The paper examines the eligibility criteria for claiming the benefits available to support energy consumption for vulnerable families and it identifies the potential beneficiaries. The study assesses the appropriateness of the eligibility criteria by comparing the population targeted by the policy with the population actually living in fuel poverty. A simulation exercise, using the hypothetical scenario most likely to result in energy benefits being made available, shows that, regardless of the affordability index adopted, the provision of state energy benefits has little impact on fuel poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Raffaele Miniaci & Carlo Scarpa & Paola Valbonesi, 2014. "Fuel poverty and the energy benefits system: The Italian case," IEFE Working Papers 66, IEFE, Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:bcu:iefewp:iefewp66
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Catherine Waddams Price, 2005. "The Effect of Liberalizing UK Retail Energy Markets on Consumers," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 128-144, Spring.
    2. Raffaele Miniaci & Carlo Scarpa & Paola Valbonesi, 2008. "Distributional Effects of Price Reforms in the Italian Utility Markets," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(1), pages 135-163, March.
    3. Andres Gomez-Lobo, 1996. "The welfare consequences of tariff rebalancing in the domestic gas market," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(4), pages 49-65, November.
    4. Waddams Price, Catherine & Brazier, Karl & Wang, Wenjia, 2012. "Objective and subjective measures of fuel poverty," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 33-39.
    5. Tom Sefton, 2002. "Targeting fuel poverty in England: is the government getting warm?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 23(3), pages 369-399, September.
    6. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-764, July.
    7. Fankhauser, Samuel & Tepic, Sladjana, 2007. "Can poor consumers pay for energy and water? An affordability analysis for transition countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1038-1049, February.
    8. Catherine Waddams & Ruth Hancock, 1998. "Distributional effects of liberalising UK residential utility markets," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(3), pages 295-319, August.
    9. Raffaele Miniaci & Carlo Scarpa & Paola Valbonesi, 2008. "Measuring The Affordability Of Basic Public Utility Services In Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 67(2), pages 185-230, July.
    10. Callan, Tim & Nolan, Brian, 1991. "Concepts of Poverty and the Poverty Line," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 243-261.
    11. Thalmann, Philippe, 2003. "'House poor' or simply 'poor'?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 291-317, December.
    12. Mahapatra, Krushna & Nair, Gireesh & Gustavsson, Leif, 2011. "Swedish energy advisers' perceptions regarding and suggestions for fulfilling homeowner expectations," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 4264-4273, July.
    13. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Bouzarovski & Saska Petrova & Sergio Tirado-Herrero, 2014. "From Fuel Poverty to Energy Vulnerability: The Importance of Services, Needs and Practices," SPRU Working Paper Series 2014-25, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    2. Martins, Rita & Quintal, Carlota & Antunes, Micaela, 2019. "Making ends meet: Actual versus potential joint affordability of utility services," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 120-126.
    3. Ivan Faiella & Luciano Lavecchia, 2015. "Energy Poverty in Italy," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 27-76.
    4. Romero, José Carlos & Linares, Pedro & López, Xiral, 2018. "The policy implications of energy poverty indicators," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 98-108.
    5. 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.
    6. Rodríguez-Álvarez, A. & Orea, L. & Jamasb, T., 2016. "Fuel poverty and well-being: a consmer theory and stochastic fronteir approach," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1668, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    7. Kearns, Ade & Whitley, Elise & Curl, Angela, 2019. "Occupant behaviour as a fourth driver of fuel poverty (aka warmth & energy deprivation)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 1143-1155.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fuel poverty; affordability; energy benefits; vulnerable consumers;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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