Quantifying the prevalence of fuel poverty across the European Union

Harriet Thomson*, Carolyn Snell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Citations (Scopus)


The literature and policy base for fuel poverty in the UK and Ireland is well established, and there is a growing body of single country studies beyond these two EU member states (for example Brunner et al. (2012), Dubois (2012), and Tirado Herrero and Ürge-Vorsatz (2010)), however, on a European level, the last analysis of fuel poverty was conducted in 2004, prior to the enlargement of the EU. Using survey data this paper presents an updated overview of the prevalence of European fuel poverty in the context of the accession of numerous former social states, and rising fuel prices. Analysis reveals the phenomenon of fuel poverty is occurring across the EU, with particularly high levels of fuel poverty found in Eastern and Southern European states. It is argued that there are both EU and national policy frameworks in place that address climate change and these could be used as a starting point for countries to address fuel poverty through improved domestic energy efficiency measures. This paper reflects research undertaken in 2011, supported by eaga Charitable Trust, within the umbrella of work examining issues of poverty and social exclusion across the EU, which has enabled access to the EU-SILC dataset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-572
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • European Union
  • Fuel poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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