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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 4 / 2022 (633), Winter

Energy poverty and the vulnerable energy consumer in Romania: A curious case of policy schizophrenia

Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania

Abstract. The article explores the concepts of energy poverty and vulnerable consumers in the Romanian policy context. It uses text analysis of policy documents and shows how policies increasingly prioritized addressing these intertwined, yet distinct, phenomena. In parallel however, the main support system available for vulnerable consumers – heating benefits – evolved in a reverse direction. Between 2011 and 2020 the allocated benefits decreased ten times in terms of budget expenditure, and the coverage (the number of beneficiaries) seven times. In other words, seemingly contradictory, the more policymakers prioritize a certain policy area, the less citizens enjoy concrete, tangible benefits in that area

Keywords: energy policy, energy poverty, vulnerable energy consumer, social policy, policy prioritization.

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The Economicity. The Epistemic Landscape, Marin Dinu, 2016


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