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The Governance of Energy Poverty in Southeastern Europe

The Governance of Energy Poverty in Southeastern Europe

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Published by: IFRI on Apr 15, 2011
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04/15/2011

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The reviewed evidence indicates that Macedonia has seen the
development of a wealth of legal documents, policies and strategies
to address energy poverty in the last few years, after an almost
complete lack of formal regulation throughout the transition. Still, the
country is characterized by a formalized, overregulated and politically
ineffective decision-making process. Many relevant policies fall under
the remit of an understaffed team at the Ministry of Economy, with the
Ministry of Labor and Social Policy playing a key role in developing
the specific programs to support vulnerable households, using poorly

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targeted means-testing methods and an inadequate understanding of
residential energy efficiency. Expert knowledge seems to be insuffi-
ciently incorporated in the formulation of relevant strategic docu-
ments, with the entire process being riddled by inadequate state co-
operation with utilities and local government. Interventions in the
housing stock are also constrained by the predominance of owner-
occupation, the inadequate development of distribution infrastructure
for gas and district heating, and the overall low housing conditions
and incomes of a large part of the population.

Future state efforts in this domain will need to focus on
creating an integrated approach for dealing with the problem, with
measures that will address immediate and long term goals, while
creating and strengthening the appropriate institutional structures for
implementation. The improved involvement of regional and local
administrations as well as paying greater attention to the structural
issues surrounding energy consumption might be a useful first step in
this regard. The country could also benefit from a more robust and
inclusive definition of energy vulnerability, associated with a
comprehensive set of indicators, monitoring and evaluation
mechanisms.

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