Energy prices & energy poverty in Southern Europe: realities & perspectives

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In December 2019, the European Commission unveiled its “Green deal” plan for Europe, a new overarching guiding strategy for the European Union, aiming to make the EU climate neutral by 2050. As part of the strategy, the “Renovation Wave” aims to trigger massive renovation in Europe to improve energy performance of buildings and contribute toward achieving climate neutrality. In February 2022, the Ukrainian invasion boosted further the EU’s need for energy independence and the political mandate for a fundamental change of Europe’s energy supply and demand. Nevertheless, energy independence and increased energy efficiency might come at a social price: vulnerable groups could be adversely affected by these measures unless properly compensated. With this in mind, FEANTSA is promoting targeted renovation strategies and dedicated European funding to improve the housing conditions of low-income and energy poor households, and is closely monitoring the evolution of the "cost of living crisis" and the impact of rising energy prices on its members.

In particular, the situation needs to be better assessed for the southern European Member States, which represent a vulnerable region in terms of energy poverty. In this context, ECODES, CARITAS and FEANTSA are co-organizing a study visit and an expert exchange on 15th and 16th September 2022 in Madrid to better understand the state of play of the possible adverse effects of energy efficiency measures and the energy poverty problems in Southern Europe in 2022, and how likely it is to be impacted by current European legislation plans and energy prices increase.

 

Programme of the event

15.09: Study visit

Study visit on the theme of energy poverty in Southern Europe in Cañada Real, discussion with an organisation fighting for human rights in the largest slum in Europe.

Dinner

 

16.09: Exchange of views on energy prices & energy poverty in Southern Europe.

9:30: Registration

9:45: Introduction by ECODES, CARITAS & FEANTSA

  • FEANTSA: Welcoming words.
  • CARITAS: Presentation, why they co-organise this event. Rising energy prices and energy poverty in Southern Europe.
  • ECODES: Presentation, why they co-organise this event. Why it is necessary to have a comparative approach between the southern European countries when talking about energy poverty?

10:00: European perspectives - How do European policies address energy poverty and the energy price crisis?

  • European Commission representative, DG ENER: Presentation of the Fitfor55 & its expected impact on the energy poor households (TBC).
  • FEANTSA: Response on the potential impact of Fitfor55 on energy poverty.

Q&A

10:45: National realities and perspectives.

  • Representative from ECODES: Energy poverty in Spain
  • Representative from EAPN Portugal: Energy poverty in Portugal (TBC)
  • Representative from Fratello Sole: Energy poverty in Italy (TBC)
  • Representative from Greek organization: Energy poverty in Greece (TBC)
  • Reaction from Sarah Coupechoux, Abbé Pierre Foundation: Energy poverty in France (TBC)

Q&A

12:00: Break

12:30: Workshop - Exchange of views on the social impact of energy prices increase & the Fitfor55.

  • Smaller discussion groups:
    • What expected impact of rising energy prices on the low-income households and the work of social services in Southern Europe?
    • What is needed to ensure a socially fair energy transition?

14:00: Lunch

15:00: Feedback from the workshops (presentation of recommendations)

16:00: Response from guests & discussion

  • Members of the European Parliament
  • Deputy Director General of Energy Efficiency of the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (TBC)
  • Energy suppliers: Representatives from Fundación Natugy and Primagas (TBC)
  • Companies from the renovation sector: Representatives from Acciona and Ferrovial (TBC)

17:00: Conclusion

17:30: End of the meeting & networking drinks to continue the discussion