One of ASSIST project final’s results was to produce recommendations for improvements to protect vulnerable consumers and tackle energy poverty in each and every stage of the policy interventions.
The “Vulnerable Consumers Protection Framework Paper” has evolved from the ASSIST partnership and derives from the discussions within the three rounds of National and European Vulnerable Consumers Steering Committees and Market Actors’ Dialogues. Participants from various backgrounds took part in 39 meetings and provided useful reviews and recommendations in the field, enriching the final document.
The policy recommendations:
Member States and regions are progressing at very different speeds. Depending on their progress, countries and regions need specific steps. A new policy mix, based on multi-pillar, multi-layer, multi-level and multi-player dimensions is needed to ensure a just transition. The combination of these proposals suggests that significant and decisive changes in the design of social protection for vulnerable consumers are necessary to address energy poverty and vulnerability in a structured way.
Recommendation 1: use a multi-pillar approach to address the direct energy poverty drivers consistently and improve energy markets
Recommendation 2: implement a multi-pillar approach to improve the consistency of policies that impact energy poverty
Recommendation 3: utilise a multi-player approach to develop better decision-making process and a broader involvement of the different stakeholders
Recommendation 4: set up a multi-layer approach to improve the “policy cycle” of relevant public policies
Recommendation 5: employ a multi-level approach to ensure better policy requirement and the coordination of initiatives at EU, national and local level
Moving ahead to sustainably solve energy poverty and vulnerability issues could profit from a more developed vision of what could be called energy welfare. This concept incorporates a decent consumers’ purchasing power (instead the current divide between incomes and prices), good quality of homes and affordable and clean energy. The energy welfare could provide more clarity and outline paths and steps by which effective policy can lift people out of energy poverty and enforce the right to energy.
You can download and read the Framework Paper by clicking here