Shopping – illustrative photo.
Prague – The energy crisis forced 11 percent of households to significantly reduce basic spending on health care or food. Another 46 percent had to limit some leisure activities or manage the family budget more carefully. This follows from a survey by the Ipsos agency, which is available to ČTK. According to him, the Czechs are managing the crisis better than they expected last year, over 44 percent of people manage without restrictions. This was also helped by austerity measures implemented by more than half of the households. However, fears of further negative effects of the crisis persist, so savings will continue.
According to the agency, the current results of the survey are more favorable than the expectations found last year in connection with the increase in energy prices. This year, 11 percent of households declared a significant reduction in basic expenses for food, clothing or health care, or even the necessity of a loan. Last summer, up to 38 percent of people expected such steps. Compared to expectations, the limitation of spending on leisure activities, such as vacations or visits to cultural events or restaurants, is also lower. Contrary to last year's predictions, the number of people who did not limit their spending in any way increased from last year's eight percent to 44 percent.
“In the middle of last year, when the situation was very uncertain as a result of the war in Ukraine and the beginning of the energy crisis, there were relatively high fears of households about managing the situation. Today we see that the measures taken not only in the form of price ceilings, but also savings measures on the part of households, led to the stabilization of the situation,” Ipsos analyst Michal Straka said about the results.
However, concerns about rising household costs remain, even though they are slightly lower than last year, according to the agency. In the next three months, it expects spending to grow by 59 percent Czechs, which is the least since November 2021. According to the survey, low-income households are most worried. In the future, 18 percent of households fear the significant impact of higher energy prices, compared to 35 percent of low-income households.
Most people prevented the negative consequences by energy saving measures. According to the survey, 55 percent of households have done them, another 17 percent are planning to do them. Most often, it was about replacing appliances or light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones, which was done by 26 percent of households. About 21 percent of the respondents proceeded with construction modifications.
Households also saved energy consumption, for example 43 percent used the shower more often than the bath, 42 percent installed LED lighting, 38 percent did not cover radiators, 35 percent optimized the settings of the refrigerator or 29 percent reduced the temperature during the night or while away from home.
Interest in information on how to effectively save on energy is also growing. “A number of customers have already become familiar with basic cost-saving measures, but the number of those who expect more detailed advice from suppliers is increasing. These are both households that are now preparing to implement specific savings, and households that are already implementing them and want to make sure that they have taken the right path,” said Tomáš Kadlec, CEO of ČEZ Sales.
This year, the company therefore launched a series of courses for those interested in energy-saving measures. The courses will be organized throughout this year, the first of which, according to ČEZ, 16,000 people signed up. Other courses will be devoted to, for example, the installation of photovoltaics, the energy efficiency of real estate or applications for support from the state.
The current survey was carried out in January of this year, when 5,005 respondents were interviewed. The agency compared the results with a survey from last June, when 5076 people asked.