Energy vulnerable citizens of the Republic of Serbia are not able to provide sufficient heat in the household or to cover the costs of necessary energy. They often resort to reducing expenses for other important needs for the sake of sufficient heat. They face the consequences of using non-standardized, energy inefficient and obsolete heating devices, whose efficiency in several studies is estimated at below 40%, while emissions (in laboratory conditions, with the use of laboratory fuel) exceeded modern standards.
Over a million households in the Republic of Serbia use individual solid fuel appliances as the main heating devices in their homes. Firewood, often insufficiently dried, is the primary energy source for heating these households. In Serbia, 57% of households use firewood for heating. Stoves and furnaces, as the most common devices, are located in separate rooms and do not provide heat for the whole household. The buildings in which these citizens live are characterized by obsolescence and the need for reconstruction.
Heating of households in the described circumstances, in addition to pollution from coal-fired power plants, mostly contributes to the primary emission of suspended particles into the air in the Republic of Serbia. Pollution of suspended particles is the cause of health problems and a large number of premature deaths in the Republic of Serbia. Poor air quality is just a consequence, while part of the cause is energy poverty.
Necessary steps are:
- adopt a national definition of energy poverty and develop indicators for monitoring energy poverty reduction measures in accordance with European Union standards,
- improve the instruments and methodology for collecting data relevant to the monitoring of energy poverty in the Republic of Serbia,
- prepare and adopt an appropriate planning document that would ensure the achievement of the goal of reducing energy poverty in the Republic of Serbia, and
- ensure process transparency and stakeholder participation in the development of public policies to address energy poverty at all levels.
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