Contributing to a public health crisis, accelerating climate change, depriving people of energy, and causing massive energy waste: our energy system is failing people and planet.
Energy poverty, affecting millions in Europe, has long been overlooked in the public debate, and calls for a political response. As young people and social movements mobilise to demand change, we are at a pivotal moment in time.
- 1 in 10 Europeans cannot properly warm their homes in the winter. 1 in 5 cannot properly cool their home in the summer
- The share of income that low-income families dedicate to energy has doubled since 2000
- 100 000 deaths in the winter are caused by energy poverty
- Between 2004 and 2016, the share of population late in paying utility bills grew 40% in the EU
- In Greece a third of the population is late on payments
- In Spain more people die prematurely due to energy poverty than from car accidents.
Sources: Eurostat, ENER SWD, WHO, ACA
We demand an energy system that puts people and planet before profit.
Access to affordable, clean energy is a basic human right
All should have access to a minimum amount of energy. The inhumane practice of energy disconnections puts peoples’ lives in danger and should be prohibited by law. Support should be provided to all those who cannot afford to light, heat or cool their homes, for example through social tariffs or a free basic energy allowance.
Decent, energy-efficient and affordable housing for all
Massive renovation programs, particularly benefiting low-income households, would address the housing crisis in Europe, as millions are denied the right to housing or live in homes that make them sick, waste energy and warm our climate. Renovating our homes and increasing energy efficiency would cut our emissions while also creating millions of jobs. The European Union should take a lead decisive role in directing funds and mobilizing political will for such programs. It must ensure that no additional costs in housing or bills are passed on to vulnerable households, and that works are carried out to a high standard subject to strong regulations, independent scrutiny, and accountability to residents.
People have a right to make decisions about what energy they use and how it is generated. Regulatory frameworks must be developed to support these rights, including setting up and participating in community energy initiatives. Democratising the energy system, through public and community ownership and control of energy, is a necessary condition to ensure a just transition to fossil-free energy.