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EU Recommendation on Energy Poverty
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The EU Recommendation on Energy Poverty

The concept of energy poverty was first introduced in EU law by the Directive on common rules for the internal electricity market (2009/72/EC). Since then, it has expanded in conjunction with the just and fair energy transition and has become a pillar of the EU’s efforts in the energy field, particularly via the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The October 2023 European Commission Recommendation on Energy Poverty is a first, positive step towards the promotion of gender equality and social inclusion in the energy poverty eradication context.

It does so, first of all, by acknowledging that certain groups are more susceptible to energy poverty, especially families with children, people with disabilities, older persons, and women, particularly single mothers and older women.

Next, the Recommendation focuses on improving the energy performance of buildings, which can yield significant impacts on reducing energy bills, particularly for low-income households, including women-led households facing energy poverty.

Further steps shall include the collection of gender-disaggregated data in the energy context and the identification and promotion of gender-responsive measures to energy poverty.

The Recommendation is noteworthy in that it outlines how, at the national level, energy poverty can be diagnosed. As per the EU legislation, energy poverty is then to be tackled at the Member State level via the respective National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP).

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