Energy Poverty in the PRS

Energy poverty remains at high levels in EU Member States due to increasing energy costs and slow progress on energy efficiency improvements, despite various policies in place that directly or indirectly mitigate energy poverty at a household level. Energy poverty levels are often highest and housing quality the poorest in the Private Rented Sector (PRS).

This is because the PRS presents specific issues that cannot be dealt adequately in the framework of energy poverty linked directly to energy efficiency, such as: 

1. The high fragmentation of the sector and the consequential difficulty to target/address the considerable number of owners and tenants active in the PRS

2. The lack of targeted policies and incentives (in comparison with what has been done in the social housing or the homeowner/owner-occupier sectors)

3. The difficulty to identify and quantify energy-poor households in the PRS

4. The delivery of energy efficiency measures to households is difficult due to structural problems like information deficits, split incentives, and others

The Energy Poverty Dashboard

The Energy Poverty Dashboard is the first tool of its kind, spatially identifying energy poverty in the private rented sector across Europe, useful for NGOs, civil society and governing bodies to access information on energy poor populations, best practices and policies to tackle this issue, and to visualise whether projects are being undertaken in the areas of greatest need. Simultaneously an information hub and public engagement tool, it provides customised data in a user-friendly format while also offering affected stakeholders information on relevant initiatives, collaborations and forms of support.

The Dashboard tool is twofold:

white concrete building during daytime
Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

The first element seeks to visualise key indicators of energy poverty, disaggregated at national, regional and sub-regional scales using datasets from EU-SILC, EU EPOV, and Censuses and Household Budget Surveys. The data is also available to view as a percentage of the total population, or as a percentage of private renters. 

The second element is an interactive map of policies related to energy efficiency in the PRS. The map provides a visual record of relevant organisations operating at a variety of scales, with a range of geographical scopes. The interactive map will allow local agencies providing on the ground support to help connect vulnerable households to relevant policies and provide a participatory platform for all stakeholders, to share policies and engage in local decision-making with regards to energy efficiency. 

To submit an energy efficiency policy that targets the PRS, please visit the “Submit a Policy” tab and fill out the form. The Dashboard team will then moderate and add your submission to the map.

The ENPOR Project

Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

The ENPOR project aims to make energy poverty in the PRS visible (and as far as possible quantifiable), test energy efficiency support schemes to address it, identify energy poor tenants (and respective homeowners) and to understand and address their needs. 

The project will do this by:

Deepening understanding on energy poverty policies for the private rented sector

Monitoring dimensions of energy poverty in the private rented sector

Supporting the set-up and implementation of energy efficiency policies to alleviate energy poverty in the private rented sector through targeted multi-stakeholder REACT groups.

ENPOR has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 889385. You can find out more about the ENPOR Project here. 

Meet the Team

Stefan Bouzarovski – Professor of Geography, University of Manchester
Manon Burbidge – Research Associate, University of Manchester 
Lucy Sloss – Dashboard Designer, Studio Mothership
Florin Vondung – Research Fellow, Wuppertal Institute
Naomi Gericke – Research Fellow, Wuppertal Institute

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