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In order to pay his electricity bill, a worker on a minimum wage of BGN 710 per month must work 36 days, KNSB calculates.

The average annual electricity bill of household consumers in Bulgaria is BGN 836.

According to estimates, the annual average salary in Bulgaria is BGN 14,854 or about BGN 1,238 per month. 

The calculations are based on the price of electricity as of July 2022, and the crisis facing workers is deepening as the cost of energy and other essential goods continue to rise. 

Will there be extremely high heating bills this winter?

The problem is far from only in Bulgaria.

It turns out that the average annual electricity bill is already higher than the monthly salary of low-paid workers in more than half of the EU member states.

In 16 EU member states, minimum wage workers have to fork out the equivalent of their monthly salary or more to keep the lights and heat on at home.

In 2021, this was the case for 8 member states, according to an analysis by the European Trade Union Confederation, cited by KNSB.

Around 9.5 million workers were struggling to pay their energy bills even before the high-cost crisis began.

By July this year, the price of gas and electricity had risen by 38% across Europe compared to last year.

The number of days a minimum wage earner has to work to pay their energy bill has increased dramatically in some countries: Estonia (+26), Netherlands (+20), Czech Republic (+17) , Latvia (+16).

In four countries – Slovakia, Greece, the Czech Republic and Italy – the average energy bill is already larger than the monthly salary of a worker earning an average wage.