Energy poverty took a centre stage at a number of EU events in the past two months, where we from the EnPower-project took part and engaged in the discussion.
As part of the European Sustainable Energy Week – which took place in June – the talk “Decisive action on energy poverty: solutions from across the EU” took place bringing together the top experts on energy poverty from across the EU and drawing in over 700 participants. The talk focused amongst other things on the country responses to the Coronavirus pandemic. Romania was one of the countries that implemented emergency measures, in the form of a price-freeze on energy and gas prices during the 30-day state of emergency. The crisis exacerbated the vulnerable energy situation of many households and it is encouraging to see the government taking swift action to protect these households.
A second noteworthy event was the Annual Conference of the Energy Poverty Observatory. This year’s focus was on summertime energy poverty and how to effectively cool – particularly – urban dwellings. This aspect of energy poverty is often overlooked as the focus lies heavily on heating in winter, however, it is an issue that is of great importance to Romania as it is not uncommon for summertime temperatures to reach well above 30 degrees Celsius.
The high level talks demonstrate the engagement of the stakeholders involved and that energy poverty has taken the EU stage. The EnPower-project benefits greatly from the lively debate, not only from the insight brought by the experts, but also from the positioning of energy poverty in the mainstream political discourse.