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Eliminating Energy Poverty Across Europe: Monitoring Progress for an Inclusive Energy Union

Energy, Environment and Climate
Date: Tuesday, 05 September 2017 10:00 - 16:30

Venue: Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre, Brussels  |  City: Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium

Energy poverty, described as the inability to afford an adequate heating regime in the household, is increasingly acknowledged as a pressing issue across Europe. The European Commission states that over 54 million people, or 11% of the European population, currently suffer from the consequences of energy poverty, the causes of which are multiple. Despite falling wholesale prices for gas and electricity, consumer costs have gradually increased. When combined with poor energy efficiency in many buildings and a squeeze in living standards, Europe’s citizenry has been left in the dark. Not only is tackling the issue of energy poverty now a moral societal imperative, it also plays a prominent role in Europe’s response to climate change, a secure energy union and the circular economy. 

In February 2015, the European Commission published a communication on the Energy Union package “A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy”. One of the main targets of this strategy is providing consumers with secure, sustainable and affordable energy. Cross-institutional calls for an official definition of energy poverty, along with the establishment of an energy-poverty observatory, are just two parts of a package of measures announced in November 2016. Additional proposals include financial support for national implementation, reducing the number of customer disconnections, and minimum standards for energy efficient buildings. With 2017 dubbed by the Commission as the ‘year of implementation’, European Member States must collaborate and harmonise their approaches, to ensure that citizens have consistent access to clean and affordable energy.

 Despite these efforts, Europe continues to struggle with data collection, increased import dependency, limited diversification, and volatile energy prices. Growing demand, coupled with security risks in transit countries, the growing threats of climate change, and slow progress in energy market liberalisation, bring additional challenges. Brexit has also opened up further complications for the energy industry in an already complex and challenging political climate. With many member states opting for a short-term fix over longer-term solutions, the time has come for key stakeholders to initiate a clear and constructive dialogue to ensure that the lights stay on.

This timely symposium provides an invaluable opportunity to discuss the latest developments in tackling energy poverty at the European level. This symposium will explore the importance of reaching a common European strategy on energy poverty and discuss suitable pathways to balance energy market liberalisation and consumer protection. The symposium will also address the question of energy efficient building renovation, a key element of the fight against climate change. Public Policy Exchange supports the exchange of dialogue and ideas, welcoming delegates to engage in thought-provoking and topical debate.

Delegates Will

  • Examine the current progress made towards a common strategy to eliminate energy poverty in Europe
  • Explore possible innovative solutions and mechanisms for businesses to limit GHG emissions through energy efficiency measures and building renovation.
  • Gain knowledge and insights on the future Clean Energy Package and the state of the Energy Union
  • Discuss the impact of Brexit on the Future of the Energy Union and examine possible pathways for future cross-border collaboration
  • Establish clear links between the implementation of EU Directives in the energy sector and the impact on businesses, consumers and the construction industry
  • Define ways to support national strategies via EU funding in order to foster energy market liberalisation
  • Promote inclusive measures to empower citizens and protect vulnerable consumers
  • Take part in lively and interactive discussions with key stakeholders in the field of energy policy and build lasting partnerships 


09:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks

Tackling Energy Poverty in the EU: Progress Towards a Common European Strategy 

  • Adopting a Common EU Definition for Energy Poverty
  • Progress on Implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
  • Insights from the New Energy-Poverty Observatory: Data Collection and Upcoming Challenges
  • Recommendations for Future Policy Developments for an Inclusive Energy Union
10:40 First Round of Discussions
11.10 Morning Coffee Break

Promoting Energy Market Liberalisation: Geopolitics and Energy Poverty 

  • Brexit and the Energy Union: What’s Next?
  • Implementing the Third Energy Package: Liberalising and Diversifying Retail Energy Markets across Member States
  • Ensuring a Safe, Secure and Cost-Effective Energy Supply: Reducing Import Dependency
  • Policy Recommendations for Increased Competitiveness and Efficiency 
12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12.30 Networking Lunch

Ensuring Sustainability and a Citizen-Centred Energy Market

  • Promoting Competitiveness: Collective Switching Schemes and Smart Meters as a measure for Vulnerable Households
  • Protecting Consumers by Improving Billing Information and Digitalising Information
  • Encouraging Energy Ownership: Founding and Developing Community Energy Projects
  • Breaking the Landlord-Tenant Dilemma: Incentivising Investment in Energy-Efficient Measures
14.00 Third Round of Discussions
14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break

Fighting Climate Change Through Energy Efficiency and Renovating Infrastructure

  • Understanding the Potential of Renovation as a Tool for Emission Reductions and Economic Growth
  • Encouraging Innovative Solutions and Low Carbon Technology for Energy Efficient Renovation
  • Unlocking Private Financing Mechanisms to Benefit Consumers, Businesses and Industry
  • Future Policy Recommendations for Successfully Upgrading European Housing Stock
15.20 Fourth Round of Discussions
15:50 Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks
16.00 Networking Reception and Refreshments
16.30 Symposium Close

** Please note that the programme and speakers are subject to change without notice **


For Registration, click here.



+44 (0)20 3137 8630
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Avenue du Boulevard 17
1210 Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium




All Dates

  • Tuesday, 05 September 2017 10:00 - 16:30

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