According to new data from Eurostat, nearly 300,000 Czechs, mainly elderly people, cannot afford to heat their homes sufficiently. Sadly, this percentage isn’t even among the worst in Europe.
Based on Eurostat’s numbers, the Czech Republic’s so called “energy poverty” situation is actually way better than most countries in Europe; roughly 2.8% of Czechs are experiencing this problem, whereas 30% of Bulgarians, 26.7% of Lithuanians, and 21% of Cypriots are suffering from an inability to heat their houses. Only 0.3% of Swiss have this issue.
Lukáš Kovanda, an economist from Trinity Bank told Aktualne that the main reason this problem exists is money, and the inability to afford sufficient heat. However, it’s also exacerbated by decrepit old buildings with insufficient insulation and out of date heating mechanisms.
“We can gather that the situation with insulation and the insulation of buildings has improved in the last fifteen years thanks to better renovations and the construction of new properties. People are also gradually starting to modernize household equipment.”
Kovanda notes that these numbers are in fact an improvement over the last couple of decades or so.
“In 2005, 948,500 people could not afford proper heat in their homes. Percentage-wise that’s about 9.3% at the time, but in 2019 it was only 2.8%.”
According to the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO), a drop in demand caused by the shutting down of schools and other large buildings during the pandemic will create somewhat cheaper prices going into to 2021.
On average, 6.9% of people in the EU are suffering from “energy poverty.”