The Energy Community Secretariat has published a study on addressing energy poverty in the Energy Community Contracting Parties, reviewing among others the situation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The study estimates the number of energy poor households in each country, analyses the legal frameworks for the protection of vulnerable and energy poor consumers, and investigates the main drivers and causes of energy poverty.
It found that the definitions of vulnerable customers in all Contracting Parties are closely related to social (income) and health status. Other aspects of energy poverty, such as the energy efficiency of homes, gender and energy needs, are not considered. This means that not all energy poor households are getting the support they need.
The analysis revealed that in trying to protect vulnerable consumers, most countries implement only income support measures which reduce the burden of energy poverty only temporarily without removing its main causes. The Secretariat recommends paying more attention to energy efficiency measures, which are “deemed to be the most effective instruments to combat energy poverty as they result in improved living conditions as well as reduced energy demand and thus expenditure”.
Due to the lack of accurate data or data confidentiality, the study was able to accurately estimate the number of energy poor households only in four Contracting Parties, including Ukraine (13-18%) and partially Georgia (up to 24.6%). For Moldova, the study recommends improving the statistical policies to allow for data collection to measure the extent of energy poverty.
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