Local action against fuel poverty in Austria

Karl-Michael Brunner, Sylvia Mandl, Anja Christanell, Michaela Leitner, Katharina Kirsch-Soriano da Silva

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingContribution to conference proceedings


A growing awareness for the problem of fuel poverty can be observed in industrialized countries. Fuel poverty arises from the interaction of low incomes, high energy prices and energy inefficient homes or appliances. It is characterized by high expenditures for energy, energy debts, disconnections, restrictions on fuel consumption at the cost of health or by choice coercion whether disposable incomes are spent in food or for heating. Studies show that fuel poor households are characterized by a number of burdens and that the scope of action is limited in many cases. So the question arises which measures could be taken to counteract fuel poverty and how energy burdens of these households could be overcome by increasing the energy efficiency of the homes, amongst other measures. In Austria, the number of research projects and the implementation of measures to tackle fuel poverty are increasing at local and national level. One of these studies ('Pilot Project against Fuel Poverty') was conducted by the authors between 2011 and 2014. The aim of this research project was to implement energy efficiency measures in 400 low-income households and to evaluate their outcomes. Three different Projects served as examples of implementation. Measures were evaluated regarding their effectiveness and possibilities to improve advice services were identified. Based on the results of the study measures to tackle fuel poverty in Austria were developed and refined in dialogues with stakeholders (e.g. energy suppliers, social institutions, public administration). The paper presents selected results from this project, focusing on the local level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECEEE 2015 Summer Study - First Fuel Now
Editors ECEEE
Place of PublicationBelambra Presquîle de Giens
Pages527 - 534
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 211908 Energy research
  • 502022 Sustainable economics
  • 504
  • 504007 Empirical social research
  • 504029 Environmental sociology
  • 504003 Poverty and social exclusion

Cite this