Hidden fuel poverty in Spain and Ireland: A comparative study of measuring and targeting

November 3, 2023
Attachment Size
Download PDF 1.06 MB

In this article, we use expenditure-based and self-reported data on fuel poverty for Spain and Ireland to analyse extreme levels of low energy consumption. Unlike most of the European countries, these two nations have recently launched official strategies to measure and tackle fuel poverty.  We focus on measurement and targeting of measures to tackle fuel poverty. We find that low energy consumption is linked with low-income levels and that popular expenditure-based metrics fail to identify the most vulnerable. In addition, newly proposed metrics for hidden poverty are more effective in identifying vulnerable households.  We also find differences across countries regarding the targeting of measures to tackle fuel poverty. In Ireland, a larger proportion of households that report being unable to afford suitable levels of heating are covered by government aid than in Spain.