Arrears on utility bills

High energy costs and/or low household income often force people affected by energy poverty to fall behind on the payments of their utility bills. The indicator "arrears on utility bills" is monitored by Eurostat and refers to the percentage of persons from the total population who are in the state of arrears on utility bills, expressing the enforced inability to pay their utility bills on time due to financial difficulties.

In 2014, as shown in figure 3, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania had the highest percentages of people falling behind on their payments. At the other extreme, in the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg and Austria, the payment of utility bills is a problem for only a small percentage of the total population. Eurostat data shows that, there is a strong correlation between the percentage of people living at risk of poverty and the percentage of people falling into arrears*.

* BPIE, "Alleviating fuel poverty in the EU"

Topic term Energy poverty
Chart title:
Share of households falling behind on their payments
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Column chart
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Arrears on utility bills
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