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The complex problem of energy poverty

26 April 2018

This concept is becoming more and more present in the information and media with a wide impact, acquiring in recent years a high level of disclosure as a result of tragic events in Spain.

The death of a woman in 2016 that was lit with candles reopened the debate on energy poverty and put in the mouth of many this problem.

But ... what is energy poverty?

In colloquial terms it is that a family or person can not cope with domestic energy bills. In more specific terms it is "the inability of a household to satisfy a minimum amount of energy services for its basic needs, such as keeping the house in a climate suitable for health conditions (18 to 21ºC in winter and 25ºC in summer, according to the criteria of the World Health Organization), "according to the Association of Environmental Sciences (ACA).

Some figures in this regard are the following:

  1. In Europe, 54,000,000 citizens (more than 10% of the population) were affected by this reality, according to Eurostat's European Survey of Income and Living Conditions (EU SILC), in 2012.
  2. In Europe, also according to Eurostat, 9.4% of the population can not maintain an adequate temperature in their home in winter.
  3. In Spain, "for 2012, it was estimated that 9% of households, equivalent to 4 million people, declared themselves incapable of keeping their home at an adequate temperature during winter", according to the study "Energy Poverty in Spain. Analysis of Trends "conducted in 2014 by the ACA.
  4. 1,200 million people in the world (17% of the population), have no access to electricity, while 2,700 million (38% of the population) do not even have adequate cooking conditions, according to the bank's data world

Between administrations, non-governmental organizations and companies, a solution must be found to this complex problem and act in different lines, forming part of the solution and planning aid plans for families.

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