Rising gas prices will cool twice as many homes in the winter
almost Two million Spanish households suffer from energy poverty In hides the serious 2021So 14.3% of citizens admitted that they could not keep their house at a suitable temperature during winter – Double it in 2019-, putting more effort into controlling your bill. These are “worrying” data, according to the latest study by the Chair of Energy and Poverty at Comillas Pontifical University, which concludes that, if government measures against rising energy prices had not been implemented, the severity of energy poverty would have been hidden. Another 200,000 homes were reached.
Among the notable metrics, in the report presented this Tuesday, Focuses on insufficient temperature indicatorbased on National Statistics Institute Living Standards Survey (INE) which was conducted in 15,000 households. More than 14% of citizens took the survey – Representing 6.7 million people- Admitted not to Under the right circumstances Thermal comfort in winter.
If it is extrapolated, These levels represent 1.6 million more people than in 2020 -31% more- and Double compared to 2019, in the last pre-epidemic year, when the indicator was 7.6%. The authors believe that one of the “probable” reasons is related to the storm Filomena, because the extreme cold that settled in the Iberian Peninsula in January 2021 “recorded in the subconscious how fragile our homes are to these natural phenomena.”
On the other hand, they assume that this rate shows what official indicators based on income-expenditure, due to their limitations, are not able to reflect. is that Households continued and escalated their dynamic of restricting heating “for fear of the bill.” In 2021, “on the one hand, the year of the beginning of the end of Covid and on the other hand, the year of the beginning of the energy price crisis”.
Energy poverty indicators skyrocketed
The report is handled by others Indices such as inadequate energy expenditurewhich identifies a Home as energy poor When dedicated Less than half the national average to cover these costsAnd that acute latent energy poverty.
Experts A A very significant discrepancy Between the two, and that is the former has dropped from 11.2% to 10.1% in 2020, The second has increased from 4.8% to 10.3% according to the results of insufficient temperature indicator.
When the house declared it You can’t keep your home in the least comfortable conditions during winterfound in Hidden energy povertyAs explained by the authors of the document, Ephraim Centeno, Jose Carlos Romero and Roberto Barella
There is no change in the late payment rate
However, studies agree Improvements in several indicators, such as unequal costs, which identifies a group of households that devote a very high percentage of their income to meeting household energy needs. According to reports, this Decreased from 16.1% to 15.2% in 2020, returning to 2019 levels.
I mean, something More than 15% of Spanish households – nearly three million- Spend more than double the national average on energy in 2021, Being in energy poverty according to this dimension. the chair This evolution is attributed to the fact that energy prices started rising from the middle of the year and peaked in December. The survey has a more moderate result.
Also, Although energy costs have increased in 2021, It generates household incomeMany of which were affected by temporary employment regulation files (ERTE) resulting from the cessation of activity in 2020 and the health crisis.
For his part, The late payment indicator remained practically stable After a significant decline a year ago, and went from 9.6% to 9.5%, representing about 4.5 million people. so that, Almost 10% of citizens in Spain declared that they paid their energy bills late in 2021, a year in which late payments did not worsen.
with everything, Experts warn about dataand it is”Still very worrying“, especially when the current situation does not “invite us to think that there will be an immediate and significant end to the energy crisis” in terms of low prices”.
Positive impact of government measures
the chair It also estimates the impact of measures adopted by the government to deal with the environment of high energy prices, such as tax cuts on electricity bills and charges and tolls.
Had it not been implemented, hidden energy poverty would have reached about 200,000 more households.That qualifies 2021 as a year of “few lights and big shadows,” the study says.
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