Stefan Bouzarovski, Professor of Geography at The University of Manchester, has been named an ‘ordinary hero’ by the European Union. Being one of only four UK ordinary heroes, this title was earned from his work regarding energy poverty.
The EU’s “Together we protect” campaign notices and praises individuals that work to find ways to improve everyday lives. As the chair of the Energy Poverty Observatory (EPOV), Bouzarovski’s work aims to help the 50 million households in the UK, Europe, and worldwide struggling with high energy costs.
His research influences the EU policy that helps protect these struggling individuals. It consists of pinpointing the causes and consequences of domestic and fuel energy deprivation in order to reach beneficial solutions.
Funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), he also leads the ENGAGER European network on energy poverty. This scheme is backed by the EU’s biggest research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.
Households struggling with energy poverty in the UK, Europe, and globally can be left without basic necessities such as lighting, heating, and access to appliances and cooking facilities in their homes.
This can be attributed to a number of causes, including an inability to access affordable energy or due to living in badly maintained or older homes that are not easily heated. These homes use excess heat inefficiently creating a larger contribution to the environment and climate change.
Energy poverty can therefore damage the individuals in said households, leading to greater risks of developing cardiac and respiratory illnesses and mental health problems.
On receiving the EU title, Professor Stefan Bouzarovski said: “I am honoured and humbled to have received this recognition. It is just a small part of the UK’s much wider role in shaping EU energy policies through expert input and various forms of knowledge transfer.”