A study by environmental NGO Quercus reports that only 1 in a 100 Portuguese considers their home “thermically comfortable”. All the rest suffer through the winter, have high heating bills (in a country where electricity costs are among the highest in Europe) and wear lots of clothes. Adding insult to the situation, the majority of householders also attest to the opposite problem during summer: a house that is too hot.
While this is very possibly an issue the whole population is only too well aware of, Quercus had good reason for this study.
Said Aline Guerreiro of the working group behind it, it is time government decision-makers and municipalities studied the problem, as “according to the Köppen climate classification system, Portugal is one of the most temperate European climates”.
In other words, it shouldn’t have people dying from cold, which they do, she stressed – usually in their own homes.
The report’s bottom line is that “efficient energy usage” should be obligatory, forcing the sustainable rehabilitation of Portugal’s (horribly cold) buildings.