Fuel poverty (or energy poverty), the phenomenon whereby a household struggles to “afford adequate services…clearly demonstrated when the home is cold or fuel debts accumulate” (Boardman, 2010b: 256), is likely to be a policy problem for countries across the European Union, particularly at a time of rising fuel prices and decreasing household spending power, coupled with increasing vulnerability to climate change.
The EU Fuel Poverty Network aims to create a dialogue on fuel poverty across the EU and to raise awareness of the core drivers and solutions by providing a platform for the rapid dissemination of research and ideas, by promoting case studies of best practice and by providing a comprehensive resources library.
The map below demonstrates the prevalence of one aspect of fuel poverty: household inability to afford to adequately heat the home.
The inability to afford to heat the home adequately is particularly pronounced across Eastern and Southern European states, with over 30 per cent of households in Portugal, Bulgaria and Cyprus declaring this inability, suggesting the phenomenon of fuel poverty is found beyond the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, two countries that have traditionally been associated with fuel poverty.
Boardman, B. (2010b) Liberalisation and fuel poverty. In: Rutledge, I. and Wright, P., ed. 2010. UK Energy Policy and the End of Market Fundamentalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 9.