Back to Publications

Croon, T.M., Hoekstra, J.S.C.M., Elsinga, M.G., Dalla Longa, F., & Mulder, P. (2022, June). Mind the gap: the use of poverty gap indices to quantify energy poverty in the netherlands [Conference poster]. 3rd International Conference on Energy Research & Social Science, Manchester, UK.

Posted on 22-06-2022

Since late 2021, domestic energy prices have risen rapidly in Europe. This puts pressure on household expenses and could lead to more energy poverty, particularly among low-income households living in inefficient homes. Accurate statistics on energy poverty help to inform resource allocation and better target short-term and long-term support policies. However, most statistics only provide information about the incidence of energy poverty but not about the energy consumption differences among households. We discuss how poverty gap indices can help to determine the gravities and inequalities suffered by many and therefore substantiate policy design. Using microdata from the Netherlands, we compare conventional energy poverty indicators and calculate their poverty gap indices. As these are relative indicators, we use a fictional price shock to explain how poverty gap indices are needed to provide a robust overview under various market conditions. The results demonstrate that while the incidence of energy poverty was relatively low in 2019, significant gaps among Dutch households have appeared since then. Energy poverty in the Netherlands also seems to have an evident spatial component. We argue that visualisation techniques from traditional poverty literature help to draw comparisons between time periods, regions, and subgroups. Finally, we outline the benefits and potential problems of indices that public entities need to consider before allocating funds based on their modelled outcomes.

Related case studies

No entries

Related vocabulary

No entries


No entries

Relational graph

icon case study Case Study
icon case study Concept
icon case study Publication
icon case study Blogposts