The project, that aims to reduce summer energy poverty incidence among European households, just released its paper on How to address Summer Energy Poverty in public policies
Europe should strive to understand how energy poverty manifests in each Member State and different seasons, and provide them with a clear definition to establish future frameworks to guide policymakers.
EU-funded projects should prioritize the development of contextual knowledge within their action plans for each national context rather than attempting to address ill-defined problems. By focusing on recognising the specific challenges and dynamics of energy poverty in each Member State, these projects could ensure a more targeted and effective policy design and implementation.
Following this consideration, Cooltorise has just released a policy brief on How to address Summer Energy Poverty in public policies. It includes some insights about the need of measuring summer energy poverty, establishing summer wellbeing conditions and how urban features relate to local microclimates and its impact on the citizens’ health.
Some of the recommendations included are to implement direct measurement of summer energy poverty by means of new primary indicators, to characterize it based on lived experiences and to consider the variations between different territories to foster connections and collaborations across local, regional, national and international level.
According to the research, it is necessary to further the understanding of the cooling strategies and measures adopted. That means establishing standardized criteria that enable easier comparison and correlation of different situations, conducting specific studies and data collection to pinpointing various urban aspects that influence microclimatic conditions and implementing two complementary policy measures to raise awareness about summer energy poverty: developing public projects for monitoring and mitigating UHI effects and conducting information campaigns on how to effectively manage and cope with overheating situations. With this combination policymakers can enhance resilience and reduce the impact of summer overheating, ultimately alleviating summer energy poverty.
Regarding the health impact, the project highlights the need to ensure that customers in vulnerable situations are not deprived of essential services due to non-payment of energy bills. It also recommends the implementation of heat prevention health plans that incorporate alarm systems for heat waves and Urban Action Initiatives that include interventions in public spaces, creating comfortable alternatives to homes, such as climate shelters.
COOLTORISE aims to reduce summer energy poverty incidence among European households, improving their indoor thermal habitability conditions and reducing their energy needs during the hot season, in order to decrease their exposure to heat and heat-related health risk, especially among people in a vulnerable situation.
It is the first project funded by the European Commission to address summer energy poverty (Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program). It is a project coordinated by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, in partnership with Asociación ECOSERVEIS, Asociación Bienestar y Desarrollo ABD, AISFOR, Comune di Parma, Sdruzenie Tzentar za Ustoychivost Iikonomichesko Razvitie – MOP,Obshtina Peshtera and Vilabs OE.