Oeko-Institut Working Paper 4/2018

Policies and measures to alleviate energy poverty in Germany - learning from good practices in other European countries

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The inability to heat or cool your home. Difficulty keeping the light on and appliances running. Restrictions in energy consumption. Worrying about energy bills. Potential Debt. This is how we can broadly understand energy poverty. It is a condition under which households increasingly come face-to-face with energy related pressures. While in some European countries alleviating energy poverty is deeply embedded in national, regional and local policy, in Germany there are relatively few instruments and measures in place that directly address energy poverty. It is vital, then, that we look beyond our national borders and identify best-practice examples that can act as incentives and inspiration for developing comprehensive energy poverty policies. The aim of this study is to identify and examine instruments and measures in place to combat energy poverty in a selection of EU Member States, test their applicability and transferability to the German context and undertake a first evaluation of the expected effects. A special focus lies on policies which alleviate energy poverty and at the same time contribute to achieving energy and climate targets.