Energy poverty in recent publications

Energy Poverty Advisory Hub Handbooks

The Energy Poverty Advisory Hub (EPAH) Handbooks are a series of practical guidebooks targeting energy poverty, energy transition, and energy efficiency, all with a socially just perspective. The guidebooks are mainly for the local governments and practitioners in the sector. There will be four handbooks in total: (1) Introduction, (2) Assessment of energy poverty at an identified local level (diagnosis), (3) Development of an informed plan (planning), and (4) Execution of an impactful energy poverty project (implementation).


First of four EPAH publications is out

The first handbook, the Introduction to the Energy Poverty Advisory Hub (EPAH) Handbooks: A Guide to Understanding and Addressing Energy Poverty, is aiming to "present the concept of energy poverty with the different approaches that can be useful for obtaining a general picture of energy poverty in your local government as well as the initial introduction to the methodology to tackle energy poverty".

Thematic sections

The handbook introduces the reader to two main thematic sections:

Causes of energy poverty

The Handbook states there are three main causes of energy poverty:

Low income level: Low income can result from low salary, job insecurity, unemployment, low social protection or a combination of these. The most affected people here are the most vulnerable ones, such as single parents, people with disabilities, or people of older age.

Low household energy efficiency and energy performance of buildings: Poor quality houses and appliances, old heating systems, lack of insulation and many more are all factors influencing the quality of living and the price of energy. Moreover, many times it is hard for tenants/homeowners to improve these factors as their options are limited either financially or from the side of the landlord.

High energy prices: Prices of energy are easily influenced by external factors such as socio-political-technical systems, natural events, and climate change policies and measures, which can make certain groups of people more vulnerable than others.

Vulnerability factors

The handbook lists vulnerability factors that refer to groups of people who are at higher risk of falling into the energy poverty trap:

Energy Poverty Handbook, 2nd edition


In September 2022, the second edition of the Energy Poverty Handbook has been released. In the foreword, Keilani Farha, Former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, stated that this year, the topic of housing has been challenged by the extreme heatwaves, COVID-19 pandemic, extreme increase not only in the cost of living but also construction materials, and lastly, the expected rise of energy costs by 30% as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. All these factors impact us all, but those suffering the most are low-income households and vulnerable groups of people. The increase in expanses “leaves many to choose between heating one’s home, turning on lights, or paying for rent or food” (p.6). Keilani calls governments and municipalities to action, noting that the energy poverty crisis is a crisis of human rights.

The handbook consists of 22 articles from organisations engaged in climate and social spheres, poverty, housing, clean energy transition, organisations working with municipalities and citizen cooperatives, and energy agencies, to name a few.

The handbook is divided into three thematic parts:

Meanwhile, check the most recent publication of the Residential Energy Efficiency (REE) Observatory in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), which also covers topics such as energy poverty, energy efficiency, multi-apartment buildings and many more, here.


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