Energy poverty in Austria: insights into recent developments.

A new study by Statistics Austria (2021) on energy poverty provides highly relevant insights into the current situation in Austria.

2.4% of all households cannot afford to keep their homes warm.

About 94,000 households in Austria cannot afford to keep their home adequately warm. This is according to the study by Statistics Austria based on the 2019 survey on income and living conditions (EU-SILC). At the same time, in 2018 there were 115,500 households with comparatively low incomes that at the same time had to pay above-average energy costs.

Smaller and less educated households are more likely unable to afford heating costs.

The study shows that energy poverty takes different forms, but tends to occur in the same population groups. For example, energy-poor households are somewhat more likely to be found in lower educational strata. In addition, one-person households, households in multi-apartment buildings, in smaller flats, in rented flats and in older buildings are more affected than the population as a whole.

Exemption from green electricity costs helps energy-poor households.

Informing and raising awareness about energy saving is an important step in helping energy-poor households. Therefore, information about the possibility to be exempted from green electricity costs is crucial to fight energy poverty in Austria.

Energy providers do not adhere to price guarantees.

According to reports by the Austrian Consumer Protection Association, rising prices on the energy market are causing suppliers to increasingly shorten the term of contracts and force people out of existing contracts, as wholesale fuel prices no longer correlate with consumer prices and energy suppliers can no longer keep their price promises. This is causing problems for numerous households.