The lockdowns imposed during the COVID-19 crisis had a revealing effect on energy vulnerabilities and on the need to consider access to energy as an essential service. But it also weakened new social groups who started to struggle with paying their energy bills. Relief measures introduced by governments and utilities in Europe illustrated how access to energy became a topic high up on the national agenda during the lockdown. However, vulnerable energy consumers require longer-term support if the aim is to address energy poverty in a more structural, sustainable and fairer way at EU, state and market level.
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