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Energy poverty through the lens of EU Research & Innovation projects

Energy poverty has become a widely recognised challenge in the EU. Estimates indicate that more than 50 million people in Europe were experiencing energy poverty in 2018. The breadth and seriousness of the problem has clearly attracted an extensive amount of scholarly attention and advocacy work, calling for urgent action at European and Member State level. Although the EU has not adopted a definition of energy poverty and energy vulnerable consumers, it has adopted a wide range of provisions to trigger and steer Member States’ action in these fields. The EU approach requires Member States to adopt a comprehensive strategy, including energy and non-energy measures, to address the root causes of energy poverty and to alleviate the condition of energy poor and vulnerable consumers. The EU has also supported a variety of research and demonstration projects to test and validate innovative approaches to fight energy poverty and to promote good practice at national, regional and local level. Through the analysis of these projects, this report aims to highlight the emerging trends in the efforts to tackle energy poverty in the EU and to contribute to the sharing of knowledge and best practices. It also aims to contribute to the on going debate on how EU funding can further support the combat against energy poverty and improve the living conditions of vulnerable consumers.