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Saturday, March 25, 2017, 

MACEF: Women most affected by energy poverty

MACEF: Women most affected by energy poverty

Skopje, 17 February 2017 (MIA) - Energy poverty refers to consumption of energy spending less than two US dollars a day per family member. Women are affected the most because they have to wash dishes and wash clothes manually in order to save electricity. Thus, our society is required to define an energy poverty threshold in Macedonia and take measures to tackle it, it was concluded Friday.

Skopje today hosted a round-table debate on what is energy poverty as part of the project Reduce Energy Use And Change Habits (REACH) financed by Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme.

The project was implemented from February 2014 until February 2017 by the Macedonian Center for Energy Efficiency (MACEF).

The debate aimed at presenting findings of the project on the reduction of energy use to the public and to initiate a discussion on defining energy poverty in the country and laying down recommendations on how to curb it. It brought together representatives of institutions and organizations dealing with energy poverty.

Professor Konstantin Dimitrov of MACEF said measures in the sector of energy efficiency should be aligned in a bid to help the citizens, especially women.

"Institutions in Macedonia are capable of applying energy efficiency measures aimed at reducing energy poverty. What needs to be done is the institutions to cooperate and adopt decisions, thus paving the way for a programme with which the living standards of poverty-stricken families will be improved," he said.

Participants in the debate concluded it was necessary to draft up a definition with a group of households as its target to help the government and relevant organizations offer energy efficiency measures to the target group intended to reduce energy poverty. 

"In Macedonia, energy poverty is detected in households that heat only one room of their home. According to statistical data, 76% of households in Macedonia use wood as a primary heating source for at least 20 square meters of their residential place. Precisely this type of energy poverty is mainly identified in the country and actions should be taken in this regard," stated local project coordinator Zarko Ilievski.

In 2016, MACEF in cooperation with a vocational high school in Skopje and the municipal organisation of the Red Cross ‘Gazi Baba’ conducted an energy survey and handed out devices for rational energy use to 400 energy poverty-stricken households in the area of Skopje.

The project's implementation aims to raise public awareness about energy poverty in the country and to contribute to taking further actions to reduce it. ba/14:46

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