The European Union has addressed energy poverty through the Clean Energy for All legislative package, empowering Member States to define and alleviate energy poverty at the local level. In 2021, the "Energy Poverty Advisory Hub (EPAH)" initiative was launched to assist European municipalities in this task. EPAH has supported over 80 municipalities through diagnosis, planning, and implementation projects.
Municipalities often lacked awareness of existing actors and initiatives in their territories. Consequently, they received assistance in mapping these services and establishing both internal and external collaborations. This approach revealed that many municipalities lacked sufficient data to assess energy poverty accurately, emphasizing the importance of collecting reliable data.
Initiatives implemented by municipalities included the establishment of support centers (One Stop Shop - OSS) and the creation of solidarity energy communities (CER). However, analyzing the experiences of CERs was complicated by their strong national dimension, making it challenging to apply lessons learned across all European countries, including Italy.
A crucial aspect was the active involvement of municipal employees and volunteers, including their preparation to effectively address energy poverty. Training municipal staff proved essential in understanding and tackling the issue.
Furthermore, the importance of planning and implementing local policies to counter energy poverty was emphasized. EPAH's circular approach, encompassing diagnosis, planning, and implementation, was recognized as crucial for effectively addressing the issue.
Finally, the need to create synergies and involve other territories was highlighted. National events were planned to foster collaboration among municipalities. In conclusion, EPAH continues to provide ongoing support to European municipalities, underscoring the importance of collaborative efforts in combating energy poverty.