New Energy Poverty publication from the European Parliament is published, with contributions from University of Sheffield School of Nursing and Midwifery staff.

Energy Poverty publication

Energy poverty is a serious concern in our societies. It receives more and more attention these days, partly due to its impacts on the health and wellbeing. Energy is no longer a luxury but an essential commodity. Not being able to access energy is an issue of social injustice. Those experiencing energy poverty may be excluded from participating in the life of a society. The most vulnerable are hit the worst. Many are prevented from reaching their full potential because of living in a cold home. Energy poverty exerts a cost to the health and lives of people across the European Union, whether in rural or remote areas, smaller nations, or the larger nations and cities such as Paris and London.

The Energy Poverty Handbook has been published in an effort to prompt and equip European nations to address the challenge of energy poverty. This handbook was initiated and edited by the office of Tamás Meszerics via The Greens/EFA group of the European Parliament. The Handbook sets out established knowledge and evidence related to energy poverty and clearly identifies research gaps.

Motivated by the belief it is unacceptable for anyone to be living in cold, damp housing the Energy Poverty Handbook aims to push the problem of energy poverty up the political agenda. It is anticipated the Energy Poverty Handbook will be a valuable resource for people working at different levels to tackle the problem, from national and local government, to community and voluntary sector, as well lobby groups launching energy poverty campaigns. The European Commission are now setting up an Energy Poverty Observatory to support decision making in this area. It is hoped that this handbook will prove a useful resource for the Observatory and stakeholder across the EU policy and political landscape.

Professor Angela Tod from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sheffield has co-authored the Chapter in the Handbook on Health. In the chapter titled ‘Health impacts of cold housing and energy poverty’ Angela collaborated with Dr Harriet Thompson (University of Manchester) to present an overview of the known health outcomes associated with cold homes. They make reference to scientific and policy literature, as well as case studies from Angela’s research.

The Energy Poverty Handbook is available online on: http://meszerics.eu/pdf/energypovertyhandbook-online.pdf or from the link on the right