Energy vulnerability of detached home owners in Finland : An explorative study

Sini Numminen*, Tuija Kajoskoski, Yannis Kaltampanidis, Mikko Jalas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Vulnerability to energy poverty occurs when a household has difficulties to meet adequate energy service levels. Recent energy crises manifested the consequences of energy vulnerability also in the Nordic countries. This study brings evidence on energy poverty in Finland, using a large household energy survey dataset (N = 4,295). The ten-per-cent limit threshold is used to measure objective energy vulnerability and the subjective measure is based on the regularity of households’ self-assessed psychological burden regarding their energy expenditures. In our dataset, 18 % of households in detached and semi-detached houses were objectively energy poor and 27 % felt a regular energy-cost burden. Heating type, building age, education level and gender were significant determinants. Ownership of a ground-source heat pump and usage of solid wood reduces winter energy poverty in Finland. Women, particularly in older age groups were significantly more vulnerable than men. For some groups, objective and subjective measurement produced distinctively different results. Households using oil heating in a hybrid heating arrangement were more vulnerable in the objective measurement but they did not feel a similar subjective energy cost burden. Families with children felt subjectively more burdened by their energy expenses than other groups, but they were not more energy-poor along the objective measurement. This is one of the first energy vulnerability studies based on large amount of citizen survey data in Finland and we recommend that further research focuses particularly on how different social groups can access and use different heating installations as this is a key determinant of energy vulnerability in countries with substantial domestic heating energy needs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114082
Number of pages19
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Detached housing
  • Domestic heating
  • Energy poverty
  • Energy technology
  • Energy vulnerability
  • Nordic country


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