If you haven't yet come across this term, energy poverty is the lack of access to efficient energy services, which negatively affects the well-being of people who cannot properly heat their homes.

“Energy poverty is a widespread problem across Europe, as between 50 and 125 million people are unable to afford proper indoor thermal comfort”, reads the European Commission’s website.

In addition, Portugal is at the top of the countries in Europe where it is necessary to spend more energy on heating houses as the buildings are not well prepared for the cold. Perhaps that’s why in Portugal it is cultural accepted to be cold at home. A problem that DECO predicts could increase.

DECO has been following the entire process of consumers' transition both at national and European level, anticipating some difficulties in this change given the current factors that directly affect this sector, namely “the increase in carbon prices, the increase in gas demand, economic recovery and delay in infrastructure maintenance during a pandemic”.

In fact, on 13 October, “the European Commission issued a statement suggesting to Member States a set of support and action measures to face a possible increase in energy prices, such as provision of limited-time compensation measures and direct support to end users of energy; setting guarantees to avoid power grid disconnections; support the empowerment of consumers, providing them information on how they can take part in the energy market and have a stronger role in the energy supply chain from renewable sources and energy communities”, among others.

According to DECO: “Many of these measures are linked to the work being developed under the STEP project - Solutions to Combat Energy Poverty, which intends to set an accessible and creative model of measures to combat energy poverty. Thus, as a reinforcement of the measures announced by the European Commission, the lifetime STEP, among others, the need for greater flexibility in the payment of energy bills; reduction of energy tax through VAT or use of the rate determined in the Energy Taxation Directive; better control of the energy market by energy regulators.”

Therefore, DECO stated that the intervention of supervisory bodies, municipalities, agents and associations is urgently needed in order to develop measures in order to reduce situations of energy poverty in Portugal.

However, it is important to remember that consumer choices and behaviour are essential to reduce the value of the bill. In addition, DECO's Energy Advice Office (GAE) offers personalised advice on how you can improve the energy performance of your homes and how to better manage energy consumption, as well as measures to save on bills.

Furthermore, DECO’s energy advice, which is free of charge, is just a call away and can make a great difference in your savings and comfort.

For further information please contact energia@deco.pt or 213 710 224.