As winter tightens its icy stranglehold on Europe, a considerable number of people are struggling to keep their homes warm.
According to a new survey from Eurostat, 298,000 Czechs cannot afford to heat their homes sufficiently.
However, the data also show that the Czech Republic is doing well in comparison with other EU countries. Trinity Bank’s chief economist Lukáš Kovanda adds that the so-called energy poverty mainly affects older people.
“In 2005, 948,500 people could not properly heat their homes, which corresponds to 9.3%, while in 2019 it was only 2.8 percent,” the economist said to Aktualne.cz.
Data from the European statistical agency show that the average population of the 27 Member States that says they are unable to heat their homes sufficiently has been decreasing since 2012, when it reached 10,8%, falling in 2019 to 6,9.
Even so, the portrait reveals marked divergences in the various countries. The highest percentage of people who said they could not keep the house adequately heated was registered in Bulgaria, where it reaches 30,1%, followed by Lithuania (26,7%), Cyprus (21%), placing Portugal in the fourth place in the ranking, followed by Greece 17,9%) and Italy (11,1%).
On the other hand, the lowest percentages were around 2%, recorded in Finland, Austria, Sweden, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Estonia, and Germany.
According to Kovanda, the problem with heating in the Czech Republic mainly concerns the elderly and the reason is not always a lack of money.
“The situation with insulation of buildings has improved in the last fifteen years thanks to appropriate renovations and construction of new properties. However, it’s also exacerbated by out of date heating mechanisms,” said Kovanda.