Opinion Factsheet  

Dostupná energia pre všetkých

BGCSDADEELENESETFIFRHRHUITLTLVMTNLPLPTROSKSLSV
Opinion Number: CDR 8068/2013
Rapporteur: 
Commission: ENVE
Status: Adopted
Date: 02/04/2014
 
To call on the EC to require member states to adopt a definition of ‘vulnerable customers’.
To propose the adoption of a EU-wide definition of energy poverty, as well as the harmonization of existing statistics in order to rigorously assess ‘the energy poverty situation in Europe’.
To emphasize that the number of households affected by this condition is increasing.
To examine the appropriateness, from LRA point of view, of a European Energy Poverty Monitoring Centre to be set up.
To emphasize that consumer interests should be taken into account in energy policy making.
To call on the EC to require member states to adopt a definition of ‘vulnerable customers’.
To propose the adoption of a EU-wide definition of energy poverty, as well as the harmonization of existing statistics in order to rigorously assess ‘the energy poverty situation in Europe’.
To emphasize that the number of households affected by this condition is increasing.
To examine the appropriateness, from LRA point of view, of a European Energy Poverty Monitoring Centre to be set up.
To emphasize that consumer interests should be taken into account in energy policy making.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- points out that between 50 and 125 million people are affected by energy poverty in Europe. In Bulgaria, Portugal, Lithuania, Romania, Cyprus, Latvia and Malta over 30% of people are unable to keep their homes warm and face disproportionately high energy bills. Meanwhile over 20% of people living in Greece, Poland, Italy, Hungary and Spain face the same challenges. Rapidly rising energy prices (compared to income growth) could result in energy poverty spreading to further sections of the population, in all EU countries;

- suggests, as the basis for discussion, the introduction of a quantitative definition of energy poverty based on an EU-wide threshold for the percentage of household income paid for energy;

- notes that renewable forms of energy must be developed and sold as cost-effectively as possible. Energy providers subject to mandatory renewable energy quotas should be allowed to decide for themselves how they invest in wind, solar, biomass or other resources. Municipal utility companies must have full discretion to seek the most cost-effective solution for their clean energy. The establishment of cooperatives and similar organisations to generate renewable energy or improve energy efficiency would be another good way of focusing on the needs of consumers;

- believes that energy consumers should not be called on to compensate energy-intensive industries for lost profits, among other things due to shutting down production in order to protect the grid;

- would like to see social support for households in energy poverty (spending over 10% of income on electricity and heating bills). This should be combined with subsidies for increased energy efficiency. Moreover, the CoR recommends implementing additional support measures such as "lifeline tariffs;

- is in favour of effort to cap energy price increases in order to combat energy poverty and feels that the Member States should make provisions to exempt low-income earners from energy taxes or tax them only lightly.

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

Rapporteur's activities

Meeting with DG EnergyExpected discussion, based on the consumer perspective, of relevant aspects of the opinion in the context of the future EC Communication on Retail energy markets

 
30 Jun
 

Rapporteur's activities

EU Energy Week – ENVE Session with the other institutions, NGOs and stakeholders.

 
25 Jun
 

Council

Informal Energy Council, distribution of the opinion to all the national delegationsPresentation of the CoR's position by the ENVE Vice-Chair Mr Bruno Hranic (HR/EPP)

 
15 May
 

European Presidency

Follow up meeting with the Greek EU PresidencyCoR's representative invited to take part at the informal Council; agreement on the need to continue inter-institutional contacts on energy affordability, a shared vision of the scope and key aspects concerning energy poverty and local and regional role in its alleviation

 
23 Apr
 

Rapporteur's activities

Opinion sent out to all the participants of the stakeholder consultation at the request of several participants and the rapporteur's initiativeInclusion of reference to the CoR Opinion in ongoing work on the subject by Energy cities, Climate alliance and other associations

 
09 Apr
 

European Presidency

Contacts with the Greek Ministry via the CoR President's CabinetSummary of the opinion (key messages: 1 paragraph) submitted to the Greek presidency to be included in the forthcoming TTE Council conclusions of 12 June 2014

 
08 Apr
 

CoR Commission: ENVE

​Adoption in the CoR Plenary Session

 
02 Apr
 

ACtivities of the Rapporteur and CoR representatives

​Stakeholder consultation

 
24 Feb
 

CoR Stakeholder Consultation

Stakeholder consultationA series of key specialist associations provided input into the opinion, in addition to comments taken on board by the rapporteur from the general associations/ representations in Brussels

 
24 Feb
 

CoR Commission: ENVE

​1st Discussion and adoption in the ENVE commission meeting

 
11 Feb
 

Activities of the Rapporteur and CoR Representatives

The Rapporteur meets with E.C. DG Energy in order to increase the awareness of the E.C. of local and regional aspects of energy poverty

 
09 Jan
 

Activities of the Rapporteur and CoR representatives

The Rapporteur meets with the Greek Presidency (permanent representation) who has a vested interest in energy poverty. A commitment is obtained to explore local and regional contribution towards a more articulate EU policy in the area of energy poverty/

 
09 Jan
 

Rapporteur's activities

Meeting with EC DG Energy Increased awareness of the EC of local and regional aspects of energy poverty

 
09 Jan
 

European Presidency

Meeting with the Greek Presidency (Permanent Representation)Agreement on the diagnostic of energy poverty across the EU and a commitment to exploring local and regional contribution towards a more articulate EU policy in this area

 
09 Jan