In general, a household is said to be in energy poverty when its members cannot afford to keep adequately warm. The combination of low incomes, energy prices and inefficient housing leads to energy poverty.
The paper summarises an evaluation of relevant literature. Although the data does not reveal the full extent of energy poverty, the findings are nevertheless clear: energy poverty is an issue in Germany and those affected are almost exclusively tenants. In other words, the people who suffer most from the problems ensuing from energy poverty, such as respiratory diseases or increased risk of stroke, have the least ability to trigger change or implement energy renovations to address the problem at hand.
Minimum energy performance standards for rental buildings can help increase the rate of deep renovations. If they are enhanced by requirements for indoor parameters, they can be an important instrument for combating energy poverty, alleviating negative health impacts and achieving climate protection targets in the building sector without crowding out tenants. The introduction of minimum standards for rental buildings should be accompanied by a financing model and complementary measures to achieve the desired effects and prevent the displacement of tenants. Appropriate financing models can prevent rent increases, ensuring the renovations are carried out in a socially responsible manner. It is also important to improve data quality in order to design minimum standards for specific target groups.