Start Date March 2011
Completion Date November 2011
Grant Holders: Masters student: Harriet Thomson, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York
Main Contact Dr Carolyn Snell, Lecturer in Social and Environmental Policy
Email: Email: email@example.com
Traditionally, fuel poverty has been regarded as a British and Irish phenomenon, however, with the accession of numerous countries to the European Union, rising fuel prices, and the move towards a single liberalised energy market, fuel poverty is likely to become an increasing concern for the European Union as a whole. However, knowledge regarding fuel poverty on a European level is limited, with only two published comparative studies. As both studies used data from 1994 to 1997, there is a large gap in knowledge regarding fuel poverty in EU Member States post-1997.
This dissertation aims to fill a gap in existing knowledge by considering the question: how is fuel poverty conceptualised across the EU, and what levels of fuel poverty exist? The research question will be addressed in two ways. Firstly, existing and emerging definitions of fuel poverty across the member states will be explored, alongside an examination of whether and how these definitions are linked to social inclusion agendas. This exploration will be conducted through an analysis of literature surrounding fuel poverty at the EU level in addition to existing national fuel poverty literature in individual member states. Due to the emerging nature of fuel poverty in some member states, a comprehensive grey literature search will be undertaken. Secondly, secondary analysis of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) will be conducted in order to quantify fuel poverty in the EU.
The dissertation contributes to Professor Bradshaw’s ongoing research project ‘Comparing Poverty and Living Standards, Family Change and Employment in the EU’.
Master’s student’s name: Harriet Thomson
Supervised by Jonathan Bradshaw and Carolyn Snell, The Department of Social Policy and Social Work, The University of York.