Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment. 2014;3(3):276-289.
Energy poverty can be seen as situation in which a household lacks a socially and
materially necessitated level of energy services in the home. In the context of the
European Union (EU), its causes and consequences largely coincide with those of the
more narrowly defined notion of ???fuel poverty???, which has attracted a significant
amount of public attention, scientific research, and state policy in Ireland and the
UK. Outside of these two countries, however, EU energy poverty scholarship, debates,
and policies are embryonic. From the limited amount of research that has been published
to date, it is possible to conclude that the condition is predicated upon high energy
prices, low household incomes, inefficient buildings and appliances, and specific
households energy needs. It is particularly widespread in Eastern, Central, and Southern
Europe, where it tends to affect groups who are already vulnerable to income poverty.
Recent years have seen a conceptual shift in the mainstream theorization of domestic
energy deprivation, onto more complex and nuanced issues of household needs, built
environment flexibility, and social resilience.