- European households
- Vulnerable families
Energy poverty is usually associated with heating and winter, but it is equally important during summer. Up to 19% of households in the European Union claimed that, during the months of summer, they were not able to maintain a healthy temperature. Therefore, this is an issue of great importance, especially considering the increasing number of heat waves affecting the citizens of the EU. In this context, H2020 COOLTORISE, a project financed with European funds, wants to create a framework on energy poverty during summer in order to come up with common solutions. It aims to try and test measures to reduce the impact of heat waves in homes with low energy efficiency and provide tools and information for them and any other interested entity. This way, this project seeks to guarantee that many families can still live in good conditions even during summer.
Cooltorise has several pilots in Italy, Bulgaria and Spain. Ecoserveis coordinates the WP1 and the pilots of Barcelona, Hospitalet and Santa Coloma de Gramenet.
The usual assumption is that energy poverty is directly related to the impossibility of households to maintain a heated temperature during winter. However, an approximate 19% of European homes suffer from unhealthy temperature conditions during summer. If we look at the 10 warmest years ever recorded in history, 9 of them happened after 2005. Further than that, the last 5 years have been the hottest of all. Climate change is increasing not only the temperature but also the frequency of extreme heat waves, and their impact is worsened in dense urban areas, where the urban heat island (UHI) effect makes the conditions dramatically harsher. Therefore, due to the risk of overheating, cooling measures must be brought into the equation.
The specific objectives are presented below:
- To reduce the heat exposure of the most vulnerable homes by improving their internal thermal conditions. This measure expects to also minimise the risk of suffering diseases related to high temperatures.
- To spread awareness about the energy culture in summer so that the facilities inside buildings are improved to prevent future emissions.
Cooltorise Policy Brief: How to address Summer Energy Poverty in public policies