One in three homes is hot in summer and cold in winter

One in three homes is hot in summer and cold in winter
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Maintain the appropriate temperature in the home in the cold months or during the summer it is something out of reach of one in three homes in the Valencian Community according to new data from the Living Conditions Survey offered by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). This means that some 744,000 Valencian families, 35.7%, could not keep their home cool enough during the summer in 2023 and 652,000, 31.3%, were unable to reach a warm temperature in the winter months.

This Home thermal comfort is related to income level of the family unit, since the percentage of families that could not maintain an adequate temperature in their home decreases as the income level increases.

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Thousands of families suffer from energy poverty in Spain this summer

A luxury for the poorest

The INE, based on income level, divides the population into five quintiles. The first includes the 20% of the population with the lowest income while the fifth brings together the 20% with the highest income. In that first quintile of the population With less income, thermal comfort is a unattainable luxury for four out of ten households Spaniards both in winter (41%) and summer (39%). In the case of households that suffer heat in summer, this proportion is reduced by more than half in the highest income quintile, as it only affects just over one in six homes (15%). On the other hand, While one in four rich households say they suffer from cold in winter (25%), four in 10 of the poorest households shiver during that season.

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“Winter is hard but summer is desperate and you can’t fight it”

Geography of thermal comfort in Spanish homes

In Spain as a whole just over a quarter (27.5%) of households said they were unable to keep the temperature warm enough during the cold months in 2023. For its part, one in three (33.6%) said they did not have a cool enough temperature during the summer. Both percentages were higher than those of 2012.

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Things have also gotten worse in C. Valenciana: If in 2012 the homes that could not maintain a comfortable temperature in winter were around a quarter of the total (26.3%) now they are almost a third (31.3%). This means an increase in the number of homes that suffer cold in winter by 127,000, 24% more in 11 years.

In 11 years there are 127,000 more homes that do not reach thermal comfort in winter and in summer there are 125,000 more

Likewise, The number of Valencian homes that are hot in summer has grownWell now there are about 125,000 more with an increase of 20% in families in this situation. In both cases, the increases have been much higher than the increase in the number of households, since in 2023 there were about 88,000 more than in 2012 and, therefore, the increase has been less than 5%.

A man watches television covered with a blanket and gloves to reduce home electricity consumption.

The fourth region that shivers the most

The Valencian Community is the fourth with the highest percentage of homes that cannot maintain a sufficiently warm temperature in the cold months after Murcia (40.1%), Andalusia (34.9%) and Extremadura (34.4%). Consequently, despite being three of the warmest regions in Spain, they are the ones with the most homes that suffer cold in winter because they are also among the autonomies with the lowest per capita income, which means that the root of the problem is the energy poverty. Those with the lowest percentages are Navarra (16.8%), Castilla y León (18.5%) and the Basque Country (20.2%).

If we attend to not having a sufficiently cool temperature during the summer, C. Valenciana is the eighth. The table is led by Murcia (46.6%), Madrid (37.7%) and Andalusia (37.1%). For their part, those with the lowest percentages of households were Asturias (16.7%), Cantabria (19.6%) and Galicia (19.7%).

A family from the Carolinas neighborhood of Alicante pulls out the fan in the heat of the heat wave when they refuse to turn on the air conditioning due to the cost of electricity.

Overwhelmed by housing costs

On the other hand, the housing module of the INE 2023 Living Conditions Survey also highlights that housing expenses (mortgage or rentheating, electricity, etc.) are a heavy burden for 671,000 Valencian homes, almost one in three (32.2%). This proportion is below the state average, which was 36.2% of households, and is the fifth lowest in Spain. The lowest percentage was in the Basque Country with one in four households (25.7%) and the highest in Murcia with four in ten (42.7%). By income level, Housing expenses were a heavy burden for the poorest half of households.

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