Energy poverty is a social problem that drastically affects the quality of life of people.
According to recent Eurostat and other data forenergy poverty across Europe, about 7% of the European citizens could not afford to adequately heat their homes, 6.4% reported arrears on utility bills, more than 16% spent a significantly high percentage of their income on energy costs, while, on the other hand, 14.6% presented abnormally low energy expenditure, as a result of their low incomes.
Energy poverty is mainly connected with high energy prices, low household income and energy-inefficient buildings and appliances. Due to energy crisis in Europe, the importance of these factors has escalated. The Eurostat data demonstrates the sharp increase of the prices in the first half of the year 2022.
Energy poverty is associated with several factors, but three are mainly highlighted: high energy costs, low family incomes, and energetically inefficient buildings.
To reverse this situation, the REVERTER project aims to develop roadmaps focused on improving the energy efficiency of homes that will adapt to the characteristics of the housing stock, the socioeconomic situation of vulnerable households, and the climatic conditions. The project will focus first on the most inefficient homes, following the "worst first" principle, to achieve a significant impact and facilitate the deployment and large-scale replication of proposed actions.
The REVERTER project aims to solve the main barriers in the sector, such as the dilemma of divided incentives, slow and complex reform processes, lack of energy information and knowledge, and citizen awareness. It will create offices of impulse and accompaniment following the "single window" model. The office will help define energy improvement projects, apply for aid and subsidies, and raise awareness among vulnerable households about efficient energy use. The office will work in coordination with the "REVERTER Ambassadors" to carry out information campaigns and awareness-raising actions with the aim of improving the health, well-being, and comfort of families with energy poverty.
To implement the different roadmaps, REVERTER will deploy four pilot tests in Bulgaria, Greece, Latvia, and Portugal, covering different climatic regions and socioeconomic conditions. In addition, collaboration with local, national, and European interest groups and experts will allow for the incorporation of roadmaps into future policies for reducing energy poverty.