Some like it hot – Czechs lose thousands of crowns every year by overheating their apartments

Photo: Štěpánka Budková

High energy expenditures are forcing nearly a quarter of Czechs to cut back on other types of spending, a recent survey conducted by the polling agency STEM revealed. However, other data shows that 68 percent of the population likes to rank up their heating to temperatures by up to 25 degrees, resulting in unnecessary costs.

Photo: Štěpánka Budková
The World Health Organization's standard for warmth says that 18 degrees Celsius is a suitable room temperature for healthy people who are appropriately dressed.

But this is too cold for the majority of Czechs, according to a countrywide survey conducted by the price comparison website Ušetřeno.

Ušetřeno’s spokeswoman, Tereza Kunová, says that 68 percent of Czechs tend to overheat their rooms up to 25 degrees, while nearly three-quarters of the population also like to keep the heating on at around 20 degrees during the night.

Her colleague, energy expert Markéta Witoszová, says that while it may be nice to have a warm home, heating costs make up a large sum in household expenditures.

She says that among those who own a gas-heated house the annual cost for heating tends to be around CZK 27,000, with each degree increase on the thermostat costing roughly CZK 2,700 more, because it raises energy use by around 5 to 6 percent.

Overheating is not the sole reason behind high energy expenditures in the country, but Ms. Kunová suggests lowering temperatures is a good place to start.

According to her, temperatures should be higher in the living room and children’s bedroom, but lower in other rooms.

The spokeswoman went on to say that aerated radiators are a problem typically found among Czech households. The fact that they are often covered by heavy curtains does not help either. However, heating expenses are not just an issue of bad habits.

Photo: Skitterphoto / CC0 / Pixabay
While exact data is not yet available, statisticians say that between 15 to 20 percent of Czech households could be threatened by so-called energy poverty.

In February, the polling agency STEM conducted a survey exploring how heating expenditures affect Czech households.

According to STEM those most at risk of energy poverty are pensioners, because they often live in badly insulated homes and also use up more energy due to staying at home longer. Single-parent households and those with multiple children are also in danger.

Heating prices are expected to increase further in 2019., a website which specialises in in providing financial tips to Czechs, stresses that the rise in expenditure will depend on the type of source each household draws its heat from, but expects the average increase to be around a few hundred crowns.

The crackdown on greenhouse emissions is seen as the main reason behind the price rise.