Identifying energy poor households in the Global North

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Dunphy, Niall P.
Lennon, Breffní
Velasco-Herrejón, Paola
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This chapter discusses findings from an ongoing Horizon 2020 project, EnergyMeasures, relating to identifying and recruiting energy-poor households in seven participating countries (BE, BG, IE, MK, NL, PL, and UK). Understanding the wicked problem of energy poverty is not an easy undertaking and is replete with multiple layers of complexity across numerous intersecting societal and environmental scales. Practitioners tasked with engaging energy-poor households acknowledge the difficulties involved, especially when trying to connect with those hard-to-reach households who may or may not identify as energy poor. While this chapter draws from experiences in Europe, the range and depth of practical knowledges held by the consortium partners allowed us to uncover a range of nuanced and considered approaches one can take on the topic that reflect the historical, cultural, and environmental factors specific to each country. Consequently, we critique these approaches to identifying and measuring energy vulnerability, especially indicators of energy poverty and so-called supporting indicators. As is noted throughout this book, the focus on energy poverty analysis has tended to stay at the macro-, or meso-, levels while understanding contexts at the local level often remain underdeveloped or ignored. In keeping with the overall theme of the book, approaches on how to appropriately identify energy-poor households are drawn from both the literature and experiences of practitioners active ‘in the field’.
Energy-poor households , Energy poverty , Europe
Dunphy, N. P., Lennon, B. and Velasco-Herrejón, P. (2023) 'Identifying energy poor households in the Global North', in Velasco-Herrejón, P., Lennon, B. and Dunphy, N. P. (eds) Living with Energy Poverty: Perspectives from the Global North and South. London: Routledge, pp. 17-28. Available at:
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