The first meeting of the thematic group Energy Poverty and Energy Efficiency at the local level was held on May 30, 2022. The main topics of discussion were the price of electricity for households, but also the price of firewood and the position of energy-endangered customers.
Nada Lazic, special advisor for sustainable development in the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, pointed out that 7% of the population of Serbia lives in absolute poverty, while an additional 23% live in poverty. Also, 662,000 households have the status of endangered customers, and 70,000 requests are pending, according to the Decree on energy endangered customers. So, having in mind the stated data, there is a fear that a large number of citizens will not be able to warm up this coming winter.
In order to overcome these difficulties, the participants agreed on a combination of the two solutions during the discussion. The first solution involves the establishment of temporary collective centers during the winter, so that the most vulnerable have a “warm bed” during the winter months. The second is of an administrative nature and refers to the change of the tariff system for the calculation of electricity. Aleksandar Kovacevic, from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, believes that the tariff system is one of the aspects of the current unreliability in supply, since it is impossible to calculate the average energy price according to the existing system, because it varies according to seasons and reaches a maximum during winter months. Reform of the tariff system would ensure rational consumption of electricity.