The situation is most acute in the U.K., where one in six households was spending more than 10% of its income to “maintain adequate warmth” in 2011, according government statistics cited by Reuters’ John Kemp.
What went wrong?
Reuters’ Karolin Schaps and Barbara Lewis write that much of the increase is related to the cost of complying with the continent’s ambitious carbon emissions targets. The European Union is supposed to cut emissions to 20% below 1990 levels.
That’s not coming cheap.
For instance, German utilities just increased the surcharge levied on consumers to fund more renewables by 18% to 6.24 euro-cents per kilowatt-hour. German households now have the third-highest power bills in Europe.