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Energy poverty to be tackled by new European Observatory

(2 March 2017)

A consortium of 13 organisations, including universities, think tanks, and the business sector, is coming together to form a specialist ‘knowledge hub’ to help people from across Europe tackle the issue of energy poverty. 

Coordinated by Dr Harriet Thomson and Professor Stefan Bouzarovski from the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED), the European Energy Poverty Observatory (EPOV) aims to engender transformational change in knowledge about the extent of energy poverty in Europe, as well as innovative policies and practices to address it. 

Recognition of energy poverty is growing and affects over 50 million households across Europe.  Harriet said: “There’s a growing integration of energy poverty analysis and policy in European Commission activities – so it’s now more important than ever to build a specialist network of stakeholders working on energy poverty in Europe. The EU Observatory will not only help people to access information on the extent of energy poverty across European Member States – it will also make available information on measures to combat it.” 

Stefan, who chairs the Observatory’s Steering Committee, said: “The Observatory is closely linked with a range of existing research activities at the University, particularly the Collaboratory for Urban Resilience and Energy within the Manchester Urban Institute, as well as Manchester Energy. It builds on the University’s ground-breaking scientific and policy engagement with wider European and global challenges around questions of social inequality and environmental sustainability.” 

With funding from the European Commission totalling €813,000, the EU Observatory will launch in December 2017 and run until March 2020.