Ensuring the Right to Energy for all Europeans
On 5 December, the political groups S&D, Greens, EFDD and GUE/NGL and the Right2Energy coalition organised a conference “Ensuring the Right to Energy for all Europeans”. The conference took place on the day of the third trilogue on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and ahead of the vote on the Governance Regulation, which was to set out planning and reporting obligations for Member States on energy poverty for the first time in EU law.
The first panel discussed the issue of how to ensure the right to energy for all. Examples from Hungary were presented, showing that the situation in some parts of the country are more severe that the data might tell, due to misleading data collection methods. “Bringer of Light” project aims at improving the situation in communities affected by energy poverty by organising education about how to install solar panels
The second panel focused on renovating homes in order to reduce energy poverty. It was stated that although energy poverty is traditionally associated with winter, also summer energy poverty exists. This happens, when people do not have enough money to cool their houses. In both cases, better insulation of houses would partly solve the issue, and therefore renovating each building to zero energy building level is required. In Greece, due to lack of interest by the government, municipalities are now leading the way by investing in households and making them part of the energy transition.
Energy transition is not just a transition towards renewables, but it is also a social transformation. The Governance of the Energy Union voted in ITRE-ENVI Joint Committee this week contains a full-fledged article on energy poverty, introducing planning and reporting obligations to reduce the number of citizens affected by energy poverty based on the various national contexts (climate, geography, average income…). Energy poverty is very often caused of aggravated by the poor insulation of buildings. This is why we need an ambitious buildings directive, incentivising faster and deeper renovation of the worst-performing segments of the building stock.
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