54 million Europeans must choose between eating and heating

(EurActiv, 19 Apr 2016) An estimated 54 million Europeans suffer from energy poverty, according to a European Commission analysis, which blames rising prices, low income and energy inefficient homes for forcing people to choose between eating or heating.

You are in energy poverty if you cannot afford to heat your home at an affordable cost. Almost 11% of the EU’s population are faced with that reality, according to the Commission.

Despite this, less than a third of the member states officially recognise energy poverty, and only a few define it in their national laws.

Consumers spend on average 6.4% of their total consumption on electricity, gas, heating and cooling – up by 15% compared to five years ago.

Fuel poverty is not about being poor, but about a combination of low-quality housing and high energy prices causing financial difficulties, and ultimately compromising health and well-being.

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EurActiv, 19 Apr 2016: 54 million Europeans must choose between eating and heating