ENPOR – Actions to Mitigate Energy Poverty in the Private Rented Sector

ENPOR – Actions to Mitigate Energy Poverty in the Private Rented Sector

Coordinator: IEECP
Partners:

  • Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy Stichting (IEECP)
  • Climate Alliance (CA)
  • University of Manchester (UoM)
  • University of Piraeus Research Centre (UPRC)
  • Society for Sustainable Development Design (DOOR)
  • Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES)
  • Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA)
  • Tartu Regional Energy Agency (TREA)
  • Austrian Energy Agency (AEA)
  • Hogeschool Utrecht (HU)
  • Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (WI)
  • International Union of Property Owners (UIPI)

Energy poverty levels remain high in the EU Member States due to increasing energy costs and slow progress on energy efficiency improvements. Despite various policies in place that directly or indirectly mitigate energy poverty at the household level, energy poverty is increasing in the private rented sector (PRS).

The PRS presents quite specific issues that cannot be dealt adequately in the framework of energy poverty linked directly to energy efficiency, such as

a) difficulty to identify and quantify energy-poor households in the PRS; and

b) the delivery of energy efficiency measures to these households is difficult due to structural problems like information deficits, split incentives and others.

ENPOR therefore aims at overcoming both challenges – making energy poverty in the PRS visible and as far as possible quantifiable, also testing energy efficiency support schemes to address it.

This can increase the effectiveness of policies at a local or regional level: an alignment with structural measures is needed. Dedicated actions should actively contribute to alleviating energy poverty in the PRS by identifying energy-poor tenants (and respective homeowners) as well as understanding and addressing their needs.

To this end, ENPOR will support the adaption and implementation of ten policies in 7 Member States tailored to the specific needs of the PRS and will integrate them into broader policy objectives.

ENPOR will examine in depth energy poverty policies for the PRS across the EU, monitor the dimensions of energy poverty in the PRS, support tailored policies and will provide guidelines for other countries.

Through ENPOR partners links with the Covenant of Mayors, the EU Energy Poverty Observatory and the market (Union of Tenants and Associations of homeowners), a high- EU-level dialogue for energy poverty in the private rented sector will be promoted.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 889385.

ENPOR will support the design and implementation of ten policies tailored to the specific characteristics of the PRS, considering the needs of tenants and property owners and will integrate them into broader policy contexts (including structural policies), where possible. It pursues the following three objectives:
Objective 1: Deepen understanding on energy poverty policies for the private rented sector ENPOR will examine, assess and synthesise thirty energy efficiency policies that tackle energy poverty in the PRS sector across the EU to better understand the factors that trigger or prevent energy efficiency investments. This process will draw on findings from the EU Energy Poverty Observatory (EU EPOV), the Covenant of Mayors (CoM), (both represented by ENPOR partners) as well as further sources providing deep knowledge of the sector (UIPI and International Union of Tenants). Energy efficiency policies will be assessed on their suitability to capture both tenants and property owners’ needs and to induce effective measures to tackle energy poverty. These assessments will facilitate knowledge exchange via stakeholder engagement with relevant actors organized in Regional Energy Action (REACT) groups and will provide lessons for implementing suitable policies under ENPOR.

Objective 2: Monitor dimensions of energy poverty in the private rented sector ENPOR will develop the interactive GIS based ‘Energy Poverty Dashboard’(EPD) tool, which will reveal the geographies of energy poverty in the PRS. This tool will help to detect, quantify and monitor the effects of energy efficiency policies on energy poverty3, including its hidden forms. It will thus examine aspects of poverty in the PRS (such as physical health, mental health and well-being) and their links to gender and other social dimensions to define suitable measures for energy poverty alleviation as a result of specific policies. Indicators (assisting the EU EPOV) will be developed to adjust policies to better address specificities of the PRS, and ultimately assist in calculating the ENPOR impacts. These indicators will also investigate structural factors (for instance by showing how many female-headed households live in private rented housing and are unable to invest in energy efficiency) leading to split incentives, lock-in effects and gender issues as barriers to energy efficiency in PRS. The EPD will be hosted at the EPOV after ENPOR ends.

Objective 3: Support the set-up and implementation of energy efficiency policies to alleviate energy poverty in the private rented sector ENPOR will support the implementation of ten energy efficiency policies and measures for energy poverty in the PRS in seven Member States (MS). Their design will be based on the cutting edge understandings developed by the EU EPOV, the stakeholder exchanges in best practices with the REACT groups and the unions of property owners and tenants, and the solid experience on implementing such policies by national and regional Energy Agencies. In addition to the design of policies, activities in each MS will include a) guidance on aligning energy poverty policies with structural funding frameworks; b) knowledge exchange between stakeholders and experts to align ENPOR policies with national and EU objectives; and c) triggering their replication at EU level. The monitoring of the ten ENPOR policies will be consistent with energy poverty indicators4, while alignment with National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP) as part of the Energy Union Governance regulations will be ensured.

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