Italy Turns to Candles Amid Energy Price Hikes

By Rachel Emmanuel

Stores in Italy are turning off their lights and opting for candles amid a massive increase in energy bills.

Some reports peg the energy hikes at a 500% increase. Amid the price spike, some stores also removed food items that require cold storage because it costs too much to power refrigerators.

In June, the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the country weaned itself down to 25% percent of Russian gas from 40% the year before, Express reports.

Still, three-quarters of Italy’s power consumption is imported. And while it has decreased reliance on Russian energy, Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom has been hiking prices.

Some bars and restaurants have even been putting their energy bills on display for customers, according to Express.

Citizens in Naples, Terni, Assisi, Bastia, Foligno, Gubbio, Norcia, Spoleto and more are burning their energy bills in protest to the high costs.

In videos, protesters are burning their bills, saying, “We don’t pay! Now that’s enough!”

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The situation is nearly as dire in nearby countries.

Restaurants and bars in Britain also face the possibility of flipping the switch, while France is turning to a greater reliance on fossil fuels.

In Scotland, demonstrators are also burning energy bills to protest an 80% price cap increase on annual energy bills.

In a video posted to Twitter, demonstrators toss their energy bills into burning barrels in the middle of the street while a crowd of supporters cheers. The demonstrators then sing, “the bills are on fire.”

As reported by Sky News, the energy regulator Ofgem has confirmed it plans to raise the price cap on household energy to £3,549 per year, up from £1,971 (an 80% increase), which could devastate the lives of millions.

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