Energy Poverty and Energy Communities' status
In Hungary, domestic energy policy is mostly focused on general price control of electricity, gas and district heating. Improvement of energy efficiency in buildings is supported through a loan program and a non-refundable, postfinancing scheme, with ad-hoc calls. Housing subsidy for low-income households can be provided by municipalities.
According to relevant studies published by Energiaklub in 2012 and 2014, the average Hungarian household spends ~15-20% of their total income on energy costs. However, due to the different definitions, it is quite difficult to define the exact number of those who really live in energy poverty in Hungary.
In 2019 an energy poverty-related study was published by the Technical University of Budapest (BME), based on a survey of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office. The representative database contains information about 7,000 households from 2016. According to the results of BME’s research, the number of energy-poor households varies between 300,000 and 1,000,000 in the country, depending on which energy poverty definitions or factors were considered. To define a single value, a standard definition was created. According to this, 13,67% of the Hungarian households (550,000 homes) struggled with energy poverty. The study estimates that 16,6% of them live in Budapest which means at least 90,000 families i.e. approximately 250-300,000 people live there under the energy poverty threshold.
Despite of the Hungarian energy prices are one of the lowest in the EU and winter are getting more and more mild, the heating season still puts extremely big pressure for low-income households especially for those who live in inefficient, old buildings.
The most vulnerable groups are single elderly people, unemployed people, large families and single-parent families. As rural, especially small settlements are economically disadvantaged and family houses are on average larger than condominiums - resulting in higher overheads - energy poverty is a major problem here.
At a glance
What citizens can do
Find out your own assessment and customised tips in the toolkit section. Train to become an energy supporter or mentor and help others in your community to tackle energy poverty. Find out more about the project’s collaborations with Hungarian municipalities. Help us increase out outreach for a fairer and cleaner future.