According to the III Energy Poverty Study presented today by the Association of Environmental Sciences (ACA) in 2014 more than 7,000 people died in Spain from causes associated with energy poverty. 11% of households in Spain, 5’1 million people declare to be unable to maintain their housing at a suitable temperature at this time of year.
The ACA study focuses on data obtained during 2014 and discovers an increase in energy poverty by 22% to reach 5.1 million people in our country who are unable to keep their home at a suitable temperature in winter, 10.2% above the European average.
A big effort
While for a family with high income, energy costs can be 3% of their income for a family with minimum income it can account for around 12%. This is an economic overexertion that significantly reduces the quality of life of families.
The study highlights Andalucia, Castilla – La Mancha, Extremadura and Murcia as the four regions affected in the highest degree in both 2014 and 2007, at the beginning of the crisis and the Basque Country, Asturias and Madrid as the less vulnerable communities.
[Pullquote] Andalucía, Castilla – La Mancha, Extremadura and Murcia as the four regions affected in the highest degree [/ pullquote]
Who are the most vulnerable
ACA also highlights different socio-demographic components outlining a type of citizen most affected. Thus, almost a third of the households (31%) in which members cannot read nor write would fall under the category of households in energy poverty.
It is evident that the unemployed, with default rates of 21% were the most affected groups as well as households consisting of elderly, single parents and families with 3 or more dependent children. These showed in 2014 higher rates than other types of families.
Health and energy poverty
In 2014, 18% of households with someone in poor health conditions at home declared it had been unable to keep their home at a suitable temperature. According to ACA, to the extent that it could be causing 30% of the additional winter deaths, according to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2014, the additional average winter mortality in Spain was 24,000 deaths so more than 7,000 premature deaths would be associated with energy poverty.
– Boosting energy rehabilitation of buildings with an energy poverty approach
– The reformulation of the social bond to adapt it to the reality of vulnerable consumers.
– Amend legislation regarding service cuts
– Reforming energy efficiency financing policy for vulnerable households
– Training programs in energy efficiency
– Improved information transfer and use.
Vulnerable Consumer Information Point (PICV)
ACA has introduced a website with relevant information for consumers on energy saving measures, helps to face energy costs and personalized advice to vulnerable households.