Europeans Forced To Choose Between Eating And Heating As Energy Prices Skyrocket


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The lives of Europeans are changing rapidly as the energy crisis hits homes and businesses across the continent in August, with many families giving up practices we often take for granted.

Europeans are spending a record amount of their income on energy, according to Reuters. Many families are limiting their use of ovens, choosing to shower at work, and no longer ironing their clothes to cut back on the costs, the outlet reported.

“The cost of living has increased and yet you’re still expected to live on the money provided for when there wasn’t a crisis … I either can have my heating on or eat,” Grimsby, England, resident Philip Keetley told Reuters. Keetley couldn’t turn on his fan during the record-breaking heatwaves that swept the archipelago this summer, the outlet noted. He simply couldn’t afford it.

British consumers can expect further price hikes throughout 2022, with costs anticipated to rise another 80% in October, according to a statement released Friday by UK energy regulator Ofgem. The average cost of energy bills is expected to reach the equivalent of $4,188, plunging millions of homes into fuel poverty and businesses into jeopardy, Reuters reported.

“The increase in energy bills that we’re seeing is completely unprecedented,” Director of Policy and Advocacy at NEA Peter Smith told the outlet. “We think that those historical trends of low income households disproportionately spending more of their income on energy is still very evident.”

Fuel poverty is defined as a low-income household spending 10% or more of their money on energy, Reuters noted. For Keetley, who lives on 600 pounds-sterling a month ($706.44), he now has to eat one meal a day despite reducing his energy consumption to the bare minimum, Reuters continued. Yet, he still spends 15% of his income on fuel. (RELATED: From Protests To Assassinations, International Chaos Reaches Fever Pitch)

Across European countries, citizens are voluntarily cutting their consumption of electricity and gas as prices have soared upwards of 550% in the last year. The hikes are being blamed on the war in Ukraine, sanctions on Russia, and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters continued.