A sharp rise in the number of Spaniards living in the risk of energy poverty was revealed in a report published by the Spanish Association of Environmental Sciences (ACA). According to the report, between 2010 and 2012 the number of households that need to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on electricity and gas bills increased to 16,6% from 12.4% in 2010. In real life, these percentages translate to 7 million people who live in unhealthy conditions of homes that are very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. Coupled with mold and humidity and electricity cuts, due to unpaid bills, energy poverty is a social crisis resulting from rising energy prices (roughly 60% since 2007) and decreasing incomes. An annual 7,200 deaths can now be attributed to energy poverty in Spain, in accordance with the measurement system established by the World Health Organisation.
According to ACA, energy poverty is defined as the inability of a household to meet a minimum amount of energy services that satisfy basic needs, such as maintaining a home temperature of 18-20oC in the winter and 25oC during the summer.