Greece has ranked third within the European Union for the highest prevalence of home heating challenges. According to the latest statistics released by Eurostat, 18.7 percent of the population reported difficulties in keeping their homes adequately warm during the winter season in 2022.
Among the EU countries, Greece stands alongside Bulgaria (22.5 percent) and Cyprus (19.2 percent) as one of the nations most affected by heating difficulties. Notably, this figure has increased over the year in Greece, amounting to 17.5 percent in 2021.
🌡️🏠 9.3% of EU population unable to keep home warm in 2022
🇧🇬 Bulgaria (22.5%)
🇨🇾 Cyprus (19.2%)
🇬🇷 Greece (18.7%)
🇫🇮 Finland (1.4%)
🇱🇺 Luxembourg (2.1%)
🇸🇮 Slovenia (2.6%)
— EU_Eurostat (@EU_Eurostat) September 11, 2023
High numbers of people experiencing difficulties heating their homes were also recorded in Spain (17.1 percent), Portugal (17.5 percent), Lithuania (17.5 percent), and Romania (15.2 percent).
On the contrary, Finland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Austria, and the Czech Republic emerged as top performers in this regard. Only a minimal percentage of these countries’ populations report difficulties in maintaining warmth within their homes. This number does not exceed 3.3 percent.
More Than Nine Percent of EU Population Couldn’t Keep Home Warm
Generally, in 2022, 9.3 percent of the EU population declared that they were unable to adequately warm their homes. This represented a 2.4 percentage point increase compared to the previous year.
In 2021, 6.9 percent of the EU populace faced challenges in maintaining adequate warmth within their homes.
Electricity Prices in Greece
As reported in January, Greece held the top spot for the highest electricity prices in the EU, with wholesale rates surpassing 218 euros per MWh, a notable lead over all other EU nations. In contrast, Bulgaria and Romania rank second in wholesale prices at 188/MWh, followed by Hungary and Italy at 184/MWh and 172/MWh, respectively. Germany and Denmark remain well below the 100/MWh threshold.
The Greek government attributed these high prices to unique features in its wholesale electricity market. However, analysts argued that the predominant use of natural gas in Greece’s power generation, accounting for over forty percent, primarily contributed to the soaring prices.
EU Gas Storage Facilities
As for the situation with natural gas, reserves in EU storage facilities have reached an all-time high, filling up to 90.12 percent in August. The indicator was achieved two months ahead of schedule. The shift away from Russian gas has contributed to this surplus, with the EU now sourcing gas from the US, Norway, and Azerbaijan among others. Russia’s share in EU imports has dropped to 8.4 percent, aligning with plans to halt the country’s gas purchases by 2027.
Analysts predicted that the upcoming winter may be the last to cause concerns in relation to gas shortages, as many countries, including the US and Qatar, plan to expand their liquefied natural gas production capacity by mid-2024.