SINEA Anca, MURAFA Corina, JIGLĂU George
Energy Poverty and the Vulnerable Consumer in Romania and Europe

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REZUMAT: Energy poverty, understood as a problem in terms of the affordability of the bill, but also in terms of the poor access to modern means to provide thermal comfort in a household, is a widespread phenomenon across the European Union, the postcommunist space being mostly affected by it. Energy poverty is a major social marginalization factor, and the unaffordability of the bill or the lack of access to modern forms of energy generate obstacles in the educational and socio-economic development of individuals, being a factor contributing to the deepening of poverty and exclusion in a wider sense. In Romania, the phenomenon is not marginal, but it is underestimated, inconsistently approached at conceptual and legislative level and it is targeted by incoherent and contradictory policies. Starting from the dominant discussions on the notion and working tools applicable at international level, the report presents a radiography of the Romanian legal and public policy framework and analyzes the way in which the current approach reflects on the social reality in our country. Based on the analysis of relevant statistical data and on the field survey conducted in three counties (Bacău, Hunedoara, Teleorman), the report identifies the major faults and provides objective public policy recommendations.