How will Europeans get through the winter?
Less relaxed than the rich north and the warmer south
Diena explains why the winter will be particularly hard for Latvians:
“Firstly, the Latvian energy sector has been closely linked to Russian natural gas supplies for years. Secondly, the local climate makes heating crucial for survival for six months of the year, which means Latvians can't be as relaxed as southern Europeans about this problem. ... Thirdly, statistics show that the level of prosperity of Latvian society is among the lowest in the EU. The soaring energy prices have us worried about how to pay our bills. So Latvians also can't feel as calm as the wealthier inhabitants of the Nordic countries and Germany.”
Introduce smart electricity rates
Economist Monika Köppl-Turyna explains in a guest commentary for the Wiener Zeitung how to get through the crisis successfully:
“Under no circumstances should companies that are not struggling at all receive support. And under no circumstances should one company's 'excess profits' be used to save another - that would be fatal from the point of view of competition and cancel out key incentives for the further expansion of renewable energy sources. ... The way out of the energy crisis is to save electricity. Due to fixed rates, end users often have no incentive to do so because it doesn't matter to them what time they switch on their washing machine. Smart meters and mobile push notifications from suppliers when electricity is cheaper would already be a great help.”