Energy poverty, along with climate change, is becoming one of the most worrying issues in Europe. Many people live without a minimum thermal comfort in their homes because they are not able to afford high energy bills. In other words, the indoor temperature of many dwellings remains below the recommended temperature during long periods, particularly in winter. This is more frequent among low-income families, which are over-represented in ‘Spain’s social housing.

In this paper, we present a simple and novel procedure to manage heating energy consumption in order to guarantee a minimum indoor temperature in social housing dwellings. To test the procedure, a social housing building located in the Basque Country, in northern Spain, has been selected as the case study. The heating consumption and outdoor temperature have been monitored for three winters and a characteristic curve for the heating consumption has been derived using the methodology proposed. Thanks to this procedure, the indoor conditions of the dwellings have improved by 80.9%, helping to alleviate energy poverty. The results show that the method is reliable, since the heating consumption needed to guarantee a specific indoor temperature could be estimated with an acceptable error rate. In the end, several aspects of this case study are discussed, and conclusions that propose certain suggestions to energy policies are derived.