سنجیدن شدت کمبود سوخت و رابطه آن با مسکن سازی ضعیف و نامناسب و دلایلی برای عدم سرمایه گذاری در اقدامات صرفه جویی گرانه انرژی در ایرلند
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|24439||2004||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 32, Issue 2, January 2004, Pages 207–220
Fuel poverty has generally been calculated by quantifying the number of households spending in excess of 10% of income on home heating. This definition has a number of significant practical and scientific limitations. This paper employs self-reported data to calculate the severity of fuel poverty in Ireland to identify chronic fuel-poor households from occasional sufferers. It also assesses domestic energy-efficiency levels. Ireland is a useful case study as it demonstrates the highest variations in seasonal mortality and morbidity in northern Europe, both of which are associated with fuel poverty. Ireland is also experiencing extreme difficulties meeting its environmental emissions targets in light of recent spectacular economic growth. Reducing fuel poverty would lower energy-related emissions, assisting policy makers achieve these challenging targets. Furthermore, little empirical research has been undertaken on fuel poverty in Ireland. This paper identifies key social groups at risk by conducting detailed socio-economic and socio-demographic analyses. The relationship between fuel poverty and adverse housing conditions (damp, condensation) is also examined. Moreover, the reasons behind householders not investing in energy-saving measures are reported. The results show that Ireland suffers from similar levels of fuel poverty as the UK, with low-income households suffering the greatest. The key policy implications are outlined.
Domestic energy-efficiency levels vary considerably across Europe (Healy, 2002). Certain countries prioritise thermal efficiency in the design and construction of new housing, as it is essential protection to combat the relatively severe winters experienced in these colder climates where winter temperatures are often below freezing (Boardman, 1991). Despite enduring relatively mild winters, Ireland and the UK have the highest rates of seasonal mortality in northern Europe, and it has been shown that such mortality rates result, in no small part, from the inadequately protected, thermally inefficient housing stocks in these countries (Clinch and Healy, 2000a; Curwen, 1991). There are also strong associations between inadequately heated homes and increased rates of morbidity; higher incidences of various cardiovascular and respiratory diseases have been associated with chronic cold exposure from within the home through living in fuel-poor conditions (Collins, 1986; Evans et al., 2000). Thus, when temperatures fall during a typical British or Irish winter, households need to increase their expenditure on fuel considerably to heat their home adequately, owing to the poor level of heat retention in their dwellings. The problem of fuel poverty occurs, therefore, when a household does not have the adequate financial resources to meet these winter home-heating costs, and because the dwelling's heating system and insulation levels prove to be inadequate for achieving affordable household warmth. In addition to the public-health policy implications of fuel poverty, many countries demonstrating poor levels of domestic energy efficiency are consuming greater amounts of energy than necessary, as individuals inhabiting inefficient dwellings must consume more fuel to heat their homes adequately. This is of considerable importance given that many European countries—most notably Ireland—are having extreme difficulty in meeting their agreed targets for stabilisation of greenhouse-gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol and acidification precursors under the Gothenburg Agreement (Clinch and Healy, 2000b). A recent study by the UK Government (DEFRA and DTI, 2001) and other recent research (DETR, 1999; Milne and Boardman, 2000) confirmed both the persisting nature and considerable scale of the problem in the UK. However, this research is based on a standard expenditure approach to calculating fuel poverty, in which households spending more than 10% of income on home heating are deemed ‘fuel-poor’. This approach has many limitations. First, it can be misleading, as several formulae now exist for calculating fuel poverty, some with housing costs included in net household income, other calculations exclude housing costs from the denominator of the formula, while other calculations analyse gross household income as opposed to net. Second, there does not appear to be any substantial rational behind setting the budget line at 10% of net income, and, therefore, this approach has been seen by some as lacking in any scientific basis. Third, such a definition is not useful for cross-country comparisons of fuel poverty, especially in countries (e.g. Ireland) where such data is unavailable. Fourth, studies using this method to quantify fuel poverty in the UK (e.g. DETR, 1999) have reported levels far greater than those using approaches based on social indicators of deprivation 1 (e.g. Healy, 2003; Whyley and Callender, 1997) which has led some commentators to wonder whether the two approaches are measuring the same type of fuel poverty, i.e. persistent versus intermittent fuel poverty. In order to address these legitimate concerns, a large household survey has been developed and employed to assess the severity of fuel poverty in Ireland, an interesting country to examine for four key reasons. First, very little empirical research on fuel poverty exists in Ireland because of the lack of suitable data hitherto. Second, Ireland has been identified as a country marked among the highest levels of housing deprivation, and among the least energy-efficient dwellings in northern Europe (Healy, 2002). Third, Ireland, like the UK, has among the highest levels of seasonal variations in mortality, leading many researchers to believe that the relatively poor thermal efficiency of the Irish housing stock is a major reason for these rates of mortality (Eng and Mercer, 1998). Fourth, Ireland's spectacular economic success over the last decade has placed a considerable burden on policy makers to achieve various challenging environmental targets, most notably on emissions of greenhouse gases and acidification precursors. By delivering the first estimates of fuel poverty in Ireland, this study assists policy makers in assessing how much the alleviation of fuel poverty would make in bridging the gap between business-as-usual energy-related environmental emissions and emissions from an energy efficient domestic sector. The study contributes to the methodological discussion on fuel poverty by identifying chronic sufferers from intermittent sufferers. The recent (2001) survey data also allow for a great degree of data disaggregation, and a detailed socio-economic and socio-demographic analysis pinpoints those suffering disproportionately from fuel poverty in Ireland. Moreover, the relationship between fuel poverty and adverse housing conditions, such as damp and condensation, is examined, while the effect of fuel subsidies is also analysed. The survey also identifies the key reasons for non-investment in energy-saving measures by Irish households. This is a crucial component of the study as it identifies the relative importance of the various reasons for market failure in domestic energy efficiency, outlined in Clinch and Healy (2000c), and thus contributes strongly to the policy debate on energy efficiency and fuel poverty. Some discussion is given to the various environmental, public-health and social policy implications of these findings. The paper begins with the results of the survey regarding the thermal efficiency of the dwelling stock. Data from two other previous surveys of the housing stock are compared to assess the penetration of energy-efficiency measures over time.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper employed new survey data on home heating to assess, for the first time, the severity of fuel poverty across Ireland and to identify the social groups most vulnerable. It was demonstrated that while the penetration of lagging jackets, double glazing and central heating have improved substantially over the past 5 years, the Irish housing stock remains considerably under-protected from the outdoor environment, leaving the vulnerable in society open to fuel poverty and increased risk of ill health. A national estimate of fuel poverty of 17.4% (or 226,000 households) is produced for Ireland. This estimate compares very similarly with the estimate of 16.4% produced by DEFRA and DTI (2001) for England (which includes housing benefits in the calculation).5 This research also identified sufferers of fuel poverty by severity. It is estimated that 27% of fuel-poor households (4.7% of the total housing stock) is suffering from chronic fuel poverty, where householders are caught in a persistent fuel-poverty trap, constantly unable to adequately heat the home. It is calculated that 12.7% of all households suffer from intermittent levels of fuel poverty, where householders are occasionally unable to heat the home adequately. The highest incidence of fuel poverty is found among the long-term ill and disabled, where 44.8% of such households (11,000 in absolute numbers) are demonstrating fuel poverty. However, this result is based on a relatively small sample of households and should be treated with care. Lone-parent households are identifiable as the second-highest group of fuel-poverty sufferers in Ireland, with over two-fifths (40.2%) declaring an inability to heat the home adequately (29,000 households). Income is closely associated with fuel poverty, and the results of this study bear out this tenet; 35.6% of households under €12,700 (IR£10,000) are suffering (some 121,000 households). A similarly strong result is found with social class, where 34.6% of those in the lowest group (E) are reporting fuel poverty (34,000 households). Other groups with high incidences include: local-authority tenants (33.8% or 57,000 households), the unemployed (30.5% or 16,000 households), one-person occupied households (28.4% or 51,000 households), those separated, divorced or widowed (28.2% or 37,000 households), lone-female pensioners (28.1% or 11,000 households) and those who completed their education at primary level (25.6% or 47,000 households). Chronic fuel poverty is proportionately highest among households with four or more dependent children, where 55.5% of fuel poverty appears to be persistent, followed by 44.1% of fuel-poor private tenants and 42% of students living in fuel poverty (Fig. 2).The results of the survey demonstrated a strong association between fuel poverty and household condensation and an even stronger association with household damp, where the incidence of fuel poverty is almost four times that found among households without damp spores. The study also indicated that the fuel allowance is a necessary but insufficient measure in tackling fuel poverty. Households claiming the fuel subsidy report an incidence of fuel poverty some three times higher than non-claiming households, however, the fuel allowance appears to impact positively on the severity of experience, significantly reducing the proportion of chronic fuel-poor households. The study also presented the results of the survey regarding the reasons why energy-saving measures are not adopted by households. Some 18.5% of households may be classified energy inefficient, as they lack basic energy-saving technologies. The findings indicate a large ‘information gap’ in the market of domestic energy-efficiency measures, with over a half of households either unaware of the existence or unaware of the benefits of energy-saving measures in the home. In addition, over a third of households identified financial constraints to retrofitting, with only a very small proportion blaming transactions’ costs. Taken as a whole, these results argue for government intervention to rectify the market failure. It is argued that an effective policy measure to improve the energy efficiency of the domestic sector and reduce fuel poverty (and attendant ill health) would be to fund a more rigorous, carefully designed information campaign explaining the clear net benefits to households of installing energy-saving measures, coupled with a State-funded retrofitting programme aimed at the risk groups identified in this study. Such a programme will also assist policy makers in achieving challenging environmental emissions’ targets on greenhouse gases (Kyoto Protocol) and acidification precursors (Gothenburg Protocol) through reductions in Irish domestic energy consumption of approximately 24% (Clinch and Healy, 2001). Failure to implement such a programme will reduce Ireland's chances of securing its environmental emissions targets by 2010, high levels of fuel poverty are likely to continue (especially among the most vulnerable groups in society), and associated seasonal variations in morbidity and mortality in Ireland will remain the highest in northern Europe.