“The launch of the Energy Poverty Observatory marks an important milestone in our struggle for a more just, solidarity, and inclusive Europe,” said EU commissioner for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic in Brussels.
He went on to say that two out of three EU member states do not define or measure energy poverty, and that the context in which energy poverty occurred varied between countries.
“That is why we do not attempt to create a universal definition of energy poverty. We rather opted for a description of the term,” said Sefcovic.
“This will allow us to continue working together, addressing energy poverty across borders and learn from each other’s experience – based on a common understanding that we all share,” he added.
That description, on the observatory website, reads, “Energy poor households experience inadequate levels of these essential energy services, due to a combination of high energy expenditure, low household incomes, inefficient buildings and appliances, and specific household energy needs.”
But this course of action raises questions: if there is no common European definition of energy poverty, then what use is analysing it at an EU level?