Event material- Municipalities’ actions to alleviate energy poverty

The Workshop “Energy Poverty: Why is it important and how can municipalities fight it?” was organised by Climate Alliance in the framework of the Climate Alliance International Conference  on the 9 September. This session was co-organised with the Covenant of Mayors Europe and in collaboration with The Energy Poverty Advisory Hub, outPhit and the RegEnergy projects and was co-moderated by Eva Suba (ENPOR) and Davide Cassanmagnago (Covenant of Mayors).

The rationale of the session evolved around the idea that the current pandemic has shown the urgent need to tackle energy poverty if we are to create a social Europe that meets the needs of all its inhabitants. This was the first workshop on energy poverty in the history of Climate Alliance conferences, joining forces with the Covenant of Mayors and ENPOR to support and learn from each other to better design and implement policy measures against energy vulnerability/poverty on a municipal level. Municipalities have a key role to play in fighting energy poverty by making energy services such as heating and cooling affordable and through measures that help their citizens to use less energy in the first place. The experts and municipality representatives were invited to discuss good practices, planned measures and challenges while the project representatives were interested to learn local authorities perspectives and considerations.

In the 2030 framework of the Covenant of Mayors in Europe, alongside with taking action on mitigating climate change and adapting to its unavoidable effects, signatories commit to providing access to secure, sustainable and affordable energy for all. In the European context this also means taking action to alleviate energy poverty.  Several relevant organisations and research projects formulated a definition of energy poverty/vulnerability that are summative or further detailed. For the first time, the EU Commission included an overall definition in its Green Deal as well. The ENPOR Project offers a good summary definition:

“Energy poverty is a situation where a household cannot meet its domestic energy needs.”

The conference counted over 400 registrations, the Energy Poverty Workshop alone 102 registrations and 62 Participants. In the Lichtnings Talks section of the Workshop Marlene Potthoff (Caritas Germany) and Floring Vondung highlighted lessons and challenges for reducing energy consumption of vulnerable groups in municipalities introducing ENPOR’s work with the German Stromsparcheck measure. From energy saving consultations in Frankfurt (DE) to energy cafés to raise awareness in Ferrara (IT) to home visits in Brest (FR) and the province of Barcelona (ES) – municipalities from all over Europe showed in this workshop how the fight against energy poverty can look like. The Energy Poverty Advice Hub (EPAH for short), which acts as a focal point for all energy poverty activities at EU level, was also presented.

“Tackling energy poverty is not just a climate change measure: it will not always help reduce CO2 emissions. But it will help people survive!”
– Tine Heyse, Chair of the Board of Climate Alliance

Learn more and check all presentations of the workshop here: https://www.climatealliance.org/events/international-conference/2021-programme/2021-programme-9-september.html#c4277