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Defining and measuring energy poverty in Poland


  • Jakub Sokolowski
  • Aneta Kielczewska
  • Piotr Lewandowski


The EU Member States are obliged to assess the scale of energy poverty in their respective national contexts. We propose a new definition of energy poverty in Poland, with different levels of specificity corresponding to the needs of different levels of administration. We also propose a set of five indicators for measuring energy poverty based on data from the Polish Household Budget Survey. Two expenditure-based indicators identify energy-poor households: a modified version of the Low Income High Cost indicator and an indicator based on actual energy expenditures. Three self-reported indicators related to financial capability, the physical condition of the dwelling, and the subjective level of thermal comfort are used to measure the severity of energy poverty. We find that all five indicators show that the older the dwelling is, the higher the risk of energy poverty is. Moreover, while the expenditure-based measures show that households living in detached houses have higher energy poverty rates than households living in multifamily buildings, the thermal comfort indicator shows the opposite relationship. Households living in dwellings without central heating are at a higher risk of energy poverty, according to all self-reported indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Jakub Sokolowski & Aneta Kielczewska & Piotr Lewandowski, 2019. "Defining and measuring energy poverty in Poland," IBS Research Reports 01/2019, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
  • Handle: RePEc:ibt:report:rr012019

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Timothy K. M. Beatty & Laura Blow & Thomas F. Crossley, 2014. "Is there a ‘heat-or-eat’ trade-off in the UK?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 177(1), pages 281-294, January.
    2. Maciej Lis & Katarzyna Salach & Konstancja Swiecicka, 2016. "Heterogeneity of the fuel poor in Poland – quantification and policy implications," IBS Working Papers 08/2016, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    3. Patrick Nussbaumer & Morgan Bazilian & Vijay Modi & Kandeh K. Yumkella, 2011. "Measuring Energy Poverty: Focusing on What Matters," OPHI Working Papers 42, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    4. Piotr Lewandowski & Katarzyna Salach, 2018. "Pomiar ubostwa energetycznego na podstawie danych BBGD - metodologia i zastosowanie," IBS Research Reports 01/2018, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    5. Jan Rutkowski & Katarzyna Salach & Aleksander Szpor & Konstancja Ziolkowska, 2018. "How to reduce energy poverty in Poland?," IBS Policy Papers 01/2018, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    6. Aleksander Szpor & Maciej Lis, 2016. "Ograniczenie ubostwa energetycznego w Polsce - od teorii do praktyki," IBS Policy Papers 06/2016, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    7. Liddell, Christine & Morris, Chris & McKenzie, S.J.P. & Rae, Gordon, 2012. "Measuring and monitoring fuel poverty in the UK: National and regional perspectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 27-32.
    8. Moore, Richard, 2012. "Definitions of fuel poverty: Implications for policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 19-26.
    9. Maciej Lis & Agata Miazga & Katarzyna Salach, 2016. "Location, location, location. What accounts for regional variation of fuel poverty in Poland?," IBS Working Papers 09/2016, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Bouzarovski & Aneta Kie³czewska & Piotr Lewandowski & Jakub Soko³owski, 2019. "Measuring energy poverty in Poland with the Multidimensional Energy Poverty Index," IBS Working Papers 07/2019, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.

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    More about this item


    fuel poverty; LIHC; thermal comfort; energy affordability;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • R29 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Other

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