SAS published a proposed definition of energy poverty resulting from the data analysis of power engineers
The scientific team of the Institute for Forecasting of the Centre of Social and Psychological Sciences SAS (PÚ SCPV SAV, v.v.i.) prepared an analysis, the result of which is also a draft of the recommended definition of energy poverty in Slovakia. The document was created based on an anonymized data on energy consumption in households from the largest electricity and gas suppliers and distribution companies in Slovakia.
Energy poverty is most often defined as a state in which the household does not have the financial means to cover energy expenses or the household's income does not sufficiently cover its energy expenses. Within Europe, Slovakia is the country with the highest ratio of energy expenditure to disposable income, although energy prices are among the lowest in the EU. One of the reasons is the income of Slovak households. The second, very important, is the insufficient energy efficiency of dwellings. Households in Slovakia are largely made up of older buildings without reconstruction (or reconstructed insufficiently), which require high energy demands.
"The analysis we have prepared assesses several alternatives for the definition of energy poverty based on the data provided and, after comparing them, proposes a recommended definition that considers the specifics of Slovakia. The resulting proposal for the definition takes into account a combination of several parameters - the total household income, its total expenditure on energy and whether it spends energy costs economically," explains co-author of the analysis Dušana Dokupilová of PÚ CSPV SAV, v.v.i.
It follows from the recommended definition that at least eight percent of households in Slovakia are at risk of energy poverty, with one-parent households being most at risk - at least every sixth household.
SAS, together with its contracting authorities, considers the entire analysis to be the basis for a professional discussion to set up long-term systemic and sustainable measures to solve energy poverty, especially with the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic, the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, as well as with the Regulatory Office for Network Industries and the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic. The entire analysis, including a brief summary, is publicly available on the PÚ CSPV SAV v.v.i. website in the study section.
Both the SAS and the contracting authorities point out that the analysis does not take into account the significant increase in energy prices on the markets in 2022 since households in Slovakia pay relatively low prices for energy in 2023 as well, due to their capping, compared to other countries of the European Union.
Editedy by Katarína Gáliková