Over 500,000 NL households struggle to keep the lights on
More than half a million households in the Netherlands are living in "energy poverty" - they're struggling more and more to pay the energy bill, according to a study by TNO. This is the result of a combination of rising gas prices and half of the population being unable to afford to sufficiently insulate their home, the researchers said, RTL Nieuws reports.
According to TNO, a total of 550 thousand households have difficulty paying their energy bill. Families experiencing energy poverty spend 13 to 20 percent of their income on energy bills. For the average household, that is only 5 percent. Energy poverty is particularly a problem in the northeastern parts of the country.
Three quarters of households in energy poverty are households who rent from housing associations. Another 12 percent rents privately, and 12 percent own their home.
Making your home more sustainable will lower the energy bill, but this is not an option for many struggling with energy poverty. Tenants have no control over making structural changes to their home. And some simply cannot afford it.
According to TNO, about half of Netherlands residents live in circumstances that could land them in energy poverty in the future. "A large proportion of them currently have no problem paying their energy bills," study author Peter Mulder said. "But if the gas price continues to rise, some of the households in this group will eventually have a payment problem."