This briefing paper summarises current knowledge on the linkages between urban poverty and energy use. The summary is based on a review of the existing literature on urban energy use and the findings from surveys in major cities in Brazil (Salvador), the Philippines (Metro Manila) and Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) funded as part of a DFID Knowledge and Research Programme. The effect of energy sector reforms and energy price rises on the urban poor's livelihoods are assessed. Some suggestions on policy instruments are given on how the increased availability of energy, that have occurred as a result of market liberalisations, can be turned into increased access by the urban poor. A list of key resources on urban energy is also given.