Electricity costs are on a continuous upward trend in Europe. These average values vary significantly across the European Union, ranging from 9.6 cents|kWh in Bulgaria to 30.5 cents in Denmark and Germany.
In 2017, the average residential consumer’s electricity price was 20.4 cents per kilowatt hour [cents/kWh], an increase of 23% over the average price of 16.6 cents | kWh 10 years ago. The highest rise in cost has been found in Greece [76%], Lithuania [58%] and Portugal [50%]. The largest decreases in electricity prices for households were recorded in Hungary [-28%], Malta [-17%] and the Netherlands [-13%].
European countries with the highest electricity prices
In Europe, residential consumer prices for electricity have long exceeded the industrial prices, and the gap has even become bigger in recent years. The highest residential electricity prices are paid in Denmark [30.5 cents] and Germany for many years in a row now. The price per kilowatt hour is more than three times higher than in Bulgaria [9.6 cents]. Belgium [28.0 cents] and Ireland [23.1 cents] are competing for the 3rd and 4th place.
The energy prices in the EU depend on a range of factors, including taxation, network charges or environmental protection costs. Taxes and levies make the biggest difference. Residential electricity rates are taxed at an average of 37%. These values vary greatly from one country to another, with rates as high as 67% in Denmark and 55% in Germany.
Electricity price in kWh per country in Europe
|Country | Year||2017||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010|
[Source: Eurostat, January 2018]
German electricity price – cost of electricity in Germany
More than half of the power price for household consumers and small businesses in Germany consists of components determined by the state. These include charges for using power grids [25.6 %], levies for financing investment in renewable energy [23.6 %] and for other kinds of taxes [eg. GST 16%].
Renewable energy surcharge (EEG-Umlage 23.6 %)
The renewable energy levy to finance green power investment is added to Germans‘ electricity unit price. The surcharge pays the state-guaranteed price for renewable energy to producers and is 6.88 cents per kWh in 2017. A further increase for 2018 seems likely.
Part of net income paid for electricity bills in 2014
Residential energy prices in Europe are on a continuous rise since the beginning of 2010, but there are huge differences between the countries regarding the proportion of income households have to pay for their electricity bills.
Households in Denmark and Germany pay by far the highest prices per kilowatt hour, while people in Bulgaria pay the lowest, but when put into relation to purchasing power, Bulgaria is the place with the most expensive electricity followed by Latvia and Sweden. On the other end of the scale, Luxembourg has the cheapest electricity followed by Italy and the Netherlands.
A typical Bulgarian single-person household spends 3% of their monthly income [356€] on electricity bills. The average is 1.9% in Europe. In contrast, a Luxembourgian single-person household pays only 0.7% of their salary, because their average income is the highest in Europe [3,149 €] and energy prices are substandard [18 Cents|kWh].
Energy poverty is a major concern across the EU, where 10% of the population says they are struggling to pay their energy bills. One third of the Bulgarian population [33%] is in arrears with their utility bills.
According to Eurostat many Croatians [30%] and Romanians [29%] are also behind in their bill payments. At the far end of the chart, slightly more than 3% of Luxembourgian and Swedish citizens are affected by energy poverty.
Source of all data is Eurostat