The EU’s partial ban on Russian oil imports, enforced to punish President Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine, has taken a toll on Europe’s power grid.
The result has been a hefty increase in heating bills, families in particular. Heading into the cold winter months, one in three households is expected to enter a state of “fuel poverty.”
Europeans have had a difficult time keeping their homes warm long before the Russian oil boycott was implemented in June 2022. According to a Statista report, nearly seven percent of the EU population was unable to adequately heat their home in 2021.
Energy Crisis: Is Europe Prepared?
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Statista’s numbers, which are portrayed in a graph and based on a Eurostat dataset, show that Bulgaria was the country most affected by the failing power grid in 2021. Nearly one in four Bulgarians were affected last year, as 23.7 percent of total households had difficulty keeping warm. Lithuania and Cyprus were the second and third most affected countries respectively.
Switzerland and Norway had the lowest rates as only 0.2 percent and 0.8 percent of households had difficulty heating their homes. The graph also reveals that southern European countries bore the brunt of power grid difficulties in 2021.
The “End Fuel Poverty Coalition” described the outlook for the months ahead as “frankly terrifying” and has been lobbying for government support of energy market reforms and investment in home insulation and renewables.