Faces of Poverty: Who Are the Energy Poor in Poland?
Energy poverty in Poland is often linked to low-stack emissions coming from the residential sector. The owners of single-family houses are the main target of many state programs aimed at improving the air quality in the country and fighting energy poverty. In this study, we check whether the target population is identified correctly and show possible directions in which state energy poverty policy might evolve in this regard.
We portray energy poor households in Poland based on several well-recognized and original indicators and employing some clustering techniques. The ten-percent, the ability-to-keep-home-warm, and the hidden-energy-poverty measures are used to examine the profiles of the energy poor. Our source of data is the energy consumption module of the Household Budget Survey collected by the Polish statistical office in 2018.
All indicators produce different rates of energy poverty, but they are consistent in describing the energy poor groups. Two similar clusters are obtained. The first group comprises of mostly retired single women occupying blocks of flats. The second group is represented mainly by working men living in families with children in stand-alone houses in remote areas.
Although politicians might choose the energy poverty measure that gives the convenient level of energy poverty incidence, the profile of the target population does not change much.