Austrians dial down Christmas lights, fearing blackouts, bills

Survey finds 1 in 3 Austrians cutting back on festive lights to save energy, money.

Austrians dial down Christmas lights, fearing blackouts, bills

Christmas in Austria may well be bleaker this year as people cut back on festive lighting owing to growing fears of blackouts and soaring energy costs.

One in three people in Austria has dialed down their Christmas lights, according to a survey of 1,500 people by consulting and auditing firm EY.

A little over 60% of the respondents believe that Austria remains at high risk of blackouts this Christmas.

While worries of power outages were a major factor, the biggest motivation remains reducing electricity costs, cited by 76.6% of respondents.

Another 11% said they were aiming to save and also reduce the risk of power outages, while 26.1% said they were cutting back on decorative lights to do their bit for the environment.

According to the survey, 22.9% of Austrian households are not prepared for blackouts and 15.1% do not plan to take any precautionary measures.

People in the capital Vienna are the most ill-prepared, with 33% yet to take any steps.

In contrast, 86% of Salzburg’s citizens have taken some sort of precautionary steps, the survey found.

Of all respondents, 60.4% said they have procured candles and flashlights, while 50.3% have stocked up on non-perishable food items.

In the event of a blackout, 78.7% of Austrians assume electricity supply will be restored after 24 hours at the latest, according to the survey.