Five new Country Policy Factsheets have been published by SocialWatt

Five new Country Policy Factsheets have been published by SocialWatt

At its start, the project SocialWatt analysed in the partner countries the status quo of energy poverty, its drivers and related policies. This was done in the end of 2019.

Many things have changed drastically since then. Therefore SocialWatt provides an update about recent developments in the way a selection of Member States aim at alleviating energy poverty, at a time of multiple crises.

This is done with country factsheets that summarizes for each country:

  • The background: whether there is a definition of energy poverty in the country, the latest data available about national indicators of energy poverty, and whether there is a national strategy, or flagship (or major) policies, to tackle energy poverty
  • The main crisis measures: the main measures adopted to help households overcome the energy crisis, distinguishing measures for all households, and measures targeted on vulnerable groups
  • The main national energy efficiency measures that aim at alleviating energy poverty
  • Whether some of the policy measures reported to Article 7 EED also aim at alleviating energy poverty, and more generally discussing the role of energy companies

In addition, each country factsheet includes one to three interviews with national stakeholders or experts involved in assessing and/or tackling energy poverty.


The following COUNTRY FACTSHEETS are now available:

  • AUSTRIA: see the Stromhilfefonds initially developed by Caritas with one energy utility, and now deployed over the whole country, with an increasing number of organizations and energy companies. And also the two recent national energy efficiency schemes targeted at vulnerable groups (renovation of large buildings, and the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems in individual homes) with already allocated budgets amounting to 375 million euros between 2022 and 2025.
  • IRELAND: see the recent change in the ‘energy poverty’ ringfence in the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme (EEOS) with the objective to promote deeper renovations focused on the least energy efficient dwellings. This part of the EEOS works closely with the public schemes for building renovations. This fosters partnerships and the blending of funding sources.
  • ROMANIA: the adoption of an official definition of energy poverty in September 2021 paved the way so that the programs or measures financed under the National Fund for Energy Efficiency should now be implemented as a priority, directly or indirectly, among vulnerable households. This can be seen in two recent schemes part of the Recovery & Resilience Plans: these schemes are targeted on the renovation of buildings in deprived areas, with allocated budgets amounting to 1 billion euros in total.
  • SPAIN: the National Strategy against Energy Poverty (ENPE) was approved by Spain’s government in April 2019, including an axis on building renovations and another one on regional and local initiatives, and especially energy poverty offices to provide tailored support to vulnerable households (following the example of Barcelona). One part of the ‘Building renovation and urban regeneration plan’ included in Spain’s Recovery & Resilience Plan is focused on neighbourhood retrofitting in deprived areas. And another part aims at the construction or rehabilitation of buildings to provide further 20 000 social housing dwellings with high energy efficiency standards, with a total budget of 1 billion euros.
  • UNITED KINGDOM: England’s and Wale’s Energy Company Obligation has been progressively revised to be 100% focused on energy poverty alleviation from 2018, and more recently to further focus on the least energy efficient dwellings. A Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard is also in force since 2020 to address energy poverty in the private-rented sectors, by requiring landlords to make a minimum investment in energy savings works in the least energy efficient dwellings. Various energy efficiency schemes are implemented in the different UK countries, with different targeting approaches.


Special thanks to the all the interviewees for sharing their valuable knowledge and views:

  • From Austria: Florian Pichler (e-control) and Maria Elisabeth Bruckl (Caritas Austria)
  • From Ireland: Ray Breen (ESG Leadership Development & Engagement Lead, Electric Ireland/ESB) and Niall Farrell (Senior Research Officer, The Economic and Social Research Institute)
  • From Romania: Pavel-Casian Nițulescu (State Secretary for Energy, Romania’s Ministry of Energy), Cornelia Szabo (CEZ VÂNZARE, energy supplier) and Andreea Vornicu-Chira (Center for the Study of Democracy and ORSE – Romanian Energy Poverty Observatory)
  • From Spain: Ester Sevilla (Director of Social Programs, Naturgy Foundation) and Roberto Barrella, José Carlos Romero and Efraim Centeno (Chair of Energy and Poverty – Comillas Pontifical University)
  • From the United Kingdom: Peter Smith (Director of Policy and Advocacy, National Energy Action) and Gillian Campbell (Communication and Public Affairs Lead, Existing Homes Alliance Scotland)

More countries to come: stay tuned!

Read more on our publications here.




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