Living in rural areas across Europe. Over 40 million European households in rural areas are not connected to the gas grid.
These communities matter and need to be understood. To deliver a just energy transition, policy should reflect conditions in rural areas. However, data is often difficult to find. In the context of the European Commission’s Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas, this Rural Barometer survey aims to give a voice to rural citizens and businesses, analysing their expectations on EU policies affecting them.
Rural areas need support & a voice
agree that more focus should be put on helping rural regions to achieve their climate change ambitions.
agree that as someone living/working in a rural area they feel that their views are often unrepresented by the local/national government/EU.
130 million people live in rural areas
Over 40 million European households in rural areas are not connected to the gas grid
EU Policy initiatives are
not well known but generally supported
30% of respondents have heard of The European Green Deal
19% have heard of The Renovation Wave.
76% of respondents support the Green Deal actions
59% think The European Union is most responsible for addressing climate change
Heating Systems in Rural Europe
75% of residents surveyed are satisfied with the performance of their home heating system
9% of residents are dissatisfied with the performance
of their home heating system
due to cost (41%)
78% of the business decision makers are satisfied with the performance of the heating system in their place of work.
The most important factors for business heating systems are
- Reliability 85% 85%
- Cost 83% 83%
- Sustainability 74% 74%
Most important factors when choosing
a new heating system
Cost of monthly bills
Cost of installation
Factors most likely to influence upgrading the heating system
to be more environmentally friendly
Lower monthly bills
Biggest motivators to change the current heating system
Potential energy savings
The current heating system being too old to function
Positive financial stimuli
Upfront cost residents or business decision-makers
are ready to spend on a new heating system
Average up-front cost residents would be willing to pay to change their home heating system
Average up-front cost business decision makers would be willing to pay to change the heating system in their place of work.
Overall, 64% support the ambitions of the European Green Deal and three in five (59%) think The European Union are most responsible for addressing climate change, closely followed by national government (58%) and companies (50%).
Disadvantages of living in a rural area
- Limited transport options 53% 53%
- Fewer amenities 52% 52%
- Fewer professional opportunities 42% 42%
Advantages of living in a rural area
- Being closer to nature 66% 66%
- Less noise 64% 64%
- Less pollution 59% 59%