Residential Heating under Energy Poverty Conditions: A Field Study

Residential Heating under Energy Poverty Conditions: A Field Study

Energy poverty implies the situation of a household not able to satisfy the required levels of energy services in the house. Nowadays, it became an increasingly pressing problem even in the wealthier EU member states. Factors that play a major role in this development involve the complex interplay or rising energy prices, stagnant or decreasing incomes, high levels or unemployment and the slow rate of redevelopment for improving energy efficiency in residential buildings. It is therefore not surprising that official statistics show that nearly 17% of the EU-28 population is at risk of income poverty, 9.9% constitutes a material deprivation risk and around 23% of the population is considered to be at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

The specific study aims to investigate energy poverty and its effect in Central Makedonia, in northern Greece, where the climate is harsher and heating requirements significantly higher than in the other parts of the country. A questionnaire aiming to assess energy poverty in low income urban areas was used. The questionnaire followed the example of a number of different studies that have dealt with the energy consumption of households and its correlation with various socio-economic parameters for various countries worldwide. In these studies the main parameters that were considered were the average household size, their income and the thermal characteristics of the building. A sample was collected after interviewing residents in order to assess the impact on the quality of life, energy consumption and heath of urban residents.

The paper hence describes this situation and presents the research results that shows a disability to satisfy socially and materially the required levels of energy services.

JOURNAL: Procedia Environmental Sciences
VOLUME: 38
PAGES: 867-874
PUBLICATION DATE: 2017