Energy Poverty in Southern and Eastern Europe: Peculiar Regional Issues
Conceptual and methodological divergence in defining the issue of energy poverty (i.e. the inability of households to afford adequate access to energy services) has made it difficult to assess the problem at a European level using a standardized approach. Moreover, existing research raises concerns with regard to socio-economic and environmental differences between European states that may have a significant impact on this phenomenon. The current paper builds upon a set of newly proposed econometric methods for the trans-national measurement of energy poverty and for the study of its determining factors – the Compound Energy Poverty Indicator. The research shows that Southern and Eastern European countries present peculiar socio-economic traits that distort the impact of predicting variables, such as the tenure status of households. The results imply that a cautious approach is needed when attempting to measure and predict energy poverty at a trans-national level based on macroeconomic indicators. Regionally specific policy measures and indicators may be needed in order to assess the problem in a truly functional, accurate and more efficient.
Keywords: energy poverty; Compound Energy Poverty Indicator; sustainability; tenure status