Petrol or pass? Heat or eat? The Greek high-cost energy dilemma

ATHENS – Electricity bills in Greece have nearly doubled as they soar across the European Union following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and natural gas prices this winter could be 600% higher high, leaving the Greeks the prospect of paying or cooling off.

The New Democracy government, which has injected subsidies to help struggling households pay their electricity bills, believes the cost of natural gas is rising and says state coffers will be strained on two fronts.

This contradicts estimates that the economy, on the back of what could be another banner year despite the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic, will grow by at least 4% this year, indicating that there would have a lot of money.

The government said the cost of heating oil and natural gas will climb to 6 billion euros ($5.98 billion) this year, with the price of heating oil which was 1.16 euros ($1.16 billion dollars) in 2021 of up to 1.70 euros ($1.69). billion) this year, out of reach for many vulnerable households.

It’s even worse for natural gas, the price of which goes from 6 euros ($5.98) per kilowatt hour to 24 euros ($23.90), a 400% increase that will leave the choice of doing without heating and reduce the use of the stove.

Households use more than 25% of natural gas consumption in Greece, Kathimerini said in a report on the issue for the government as it faces a re-election campaign in 2023 and does not want to lose voters.

While the government has promoted a campaign to use less energy, including reducing the use of air conditioning – grants to buy new, more efficient appliances won’t be available until winter, however – there is no There is no quick or easy solution or alternative.

But massive state subsidies for electricity bills are saving the day for people who used to get bills as high as 750 euros ($746.93) or more a month — more than wages for some, and some might. end up paying less than in 2021.

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