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A Multidimensional Approach to Measuring Fuel Poverty

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In this study we suggest that a more careful and systematic understanding of fuel poverty can be developed through a multidimensional approach to the relationship between monetary poverty, residential energy efficiency, and heating restriction. Our objective is to provide new ways to better identify those who suffer the most from fuel poverty to optimize policy. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to measure poverty in three steps following Sen (1979): (i) combining poverty characteristics into an aggregate measure involving a fuel poverty index (FPI), (ii) identification and comparison of poor people according to existing and new definitions and (iii) testing the robustness of the fuel poverty composite indicator. Our results show that the usual measures reveal a gap that does not consider all the dimensions of fuel poverty, excluding those who are at or above a certain threshold, but who are nevertheless vulnerable.

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Keywords: Fuel poverty, Multidimensional approach, Heating restriction, Thermal discomfort

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.2.bleg

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Published in Volume 40, Number 2 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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