How to best use Article 7 to tackle energy poverty?

Recommendations

  •  The European Commission should revise Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) to require the Member States to assess the distributional equity of their policies. A minimum ringfence of energy savings delivered through energy efficiency obligation schemes (EEOS), and/or specifically designed alternative policy measures, should be introduced for addressing distributional inequities. Who pays for, and who benefits from, the promoted energy savings must be assessed and measures to level inequities adopted.
  • The European Commission should ensure that the Member States, in implementing their Article 7 policies, implement in full the existing requirement to take into account the need to alleviate energy poverty. For example, a ringfence of a proportion of the savings to be delivered in energy-poor households is more effective to guarantee benefits are delivered than administrative uplifts in savings values in cross-cutting EEOS.
  • The Commission should consider methods to align climate and social goals through Article 7 and the wider energy and climate package. In particular, synergies between Article 7 and carbon pricing, and minimum energy performance standards should be explored. Article 7 can deliver the multiple benefits of energy savings and EEOS can overcome market barriers specific to low-income or energy-poor households. The redesign of Article 7 offers a key opportunity to offset the mounting burdens created by other policies like carbon pricing.
  • The Commission must assess the impact of the entire European legislative portfolio on households of different income levels (distributional impact assessment) and take steps at the European level to mitigate negative impacts. Each element of the portfolio should be assessed individually and in combination. Measures must be taken within policies or through additional policies to mitigate burdens on low-income, vulnerable or energy-poor households. All opportunities to deliver guaranteed energy savings and associated multiple benefits for priority households must be prioritised and brought forward in time.

Read more on Alleviating energy poverty and Article 7 EED. 

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