A just transition must help those struggling to heat their homes

From Social Europe post by Monique Goyens:

In the latest contribution to our series on ‘just transition’, Monique Goyens argues that it must address the people finding it hard to pay their energy bills.

The task of moving to a carbon-neutral society is herculean, but the benefits won’t just include saving the planet. There are also long-term economic gains, even for the most hard-up.

An estimated 50 million around the European Union struggle to keep their homes warm and pay their energy bills. Many suffer from the same problems: poorly insulated homes, ill-suited tariffs, insufficient advice on how to save energy or a combination of all three.

The lowest income earners in the EU spend an increasingly large share of their budget on energy—rising from 6 per cent in 2000 to 9 per cent in 2014. In the short term, for this group, it makes more sense to use energy more efficiently than to invest in solar panels, heat pumps or pellet stoves. It will also deliver faster savings.

The choice should not however be between having a warm home and having food on the table. In making their homes more efficient, people consume less energy to heat their living space and can more easily pay their bills.

But getting people to take action can be complex. Those at risk of energy poverty might feel overwhelmed and prioritise solving other problems, such as warmer clothing or food. Often, they might not know what solutions are out there.

For governments and energy advisers to upload advice about insulation to a website isn’t enough. That advice needs to get out to people. Human contact also helps.”

Continue reading here.

Posted by at 10:42 AM

Labels: Energy & Climate Change, Global Housing Watch, Inclusive Growth


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