Electricity price statistics
- Data extracted in May 2016. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update: November 2016.
This article highlights the evolution of electricity prices both for industrial and household consumers within the European Union (EU), but includes also price data from Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Moldova and Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244).
The price of energy in the EU depends on a range of different supply and demand conditions, including the geopolitical situation, import diversification, network costs, environmental protection costs, severe weather conditions, or levels of excise and taxation. Note that prices presented in this article include taxes, levies and VAT for household consumers but exclude refundable taxes and levies and VAT for industrial/business users. An overview of the average prices in euro per kilowatt hour of electricity for the last 3 years (second semester for each year) is given in Table 1.
- 1 Main statistical findings
- 2 Context
- 3 See also
- 4 Further Eurostat information
- 5 External links
Main statistical findings
Electricity prices for household consumers
For medium size household consumers, electricity prices during the second semester of 2015 were the highest in the EU in Denmark (EUR 0.304 per kWh), Germany (EUR 0.295 per kWh) and Ireland (EUR 0.245 per kWh) (see Figure 1 and Table 1). The lowest electricity prices in the EU for households were found in Bulgaria (EUR 0.096 per kWh), Hungary (EUR 0.115 per kWh) and Lithuania (EUR 0.124 per kWh). The price of electricity for households in Denmark was more than 3 times higher than the price in Bulgaria.
The EU-28 average price (this price is weighted with the most recent national electricity consumption in the household sector which is data for 2014) is EUR 0.211 per kWh.
Table 3 shows the proportion of taxes and levies in the overall electricity retail price for household consumers. The first data column corresponds to the prices excluding all taxes and levies. The figures displayed in columns 2 and 3 for households are absolute tax contributions in euro per kWh. The last column shows the relative share of taxes and levies in the final electricity price. For household consumers, the relative amount of tax contribution is the lowest in Malta (4.7 %) and the United Kingdom (4.8 %) where a low VAT rate is applied to the basic price and no other taxes are charged to household consumers. The highest taxes are charged in Denmark where more than two thirds of the final price (69 %) is made up of taxes and levies.
Figure 2 shows the trend of the EU-28 and EA electricity prices for household consumers over the last 8 years. Electricity prices for households increased in 2008, remained stable or even decreased in 2009, but went up again as of 2010.
Table 5 and Figure 3 show the electricity prices for household consumers including all taxes and VAT in national currency (NAT) and its percentage change during the last 12 months. Between the second half of 2014 and the second half of 2015, electricity prices for households decreased in 12 EU Member States.
The largest price increases among EU Member States between the second semester of 2014 and the second semester of 2015 were observed in Latvia (+27 %) and Belgium (+15 %), while prices went down by more than 20 % in Cyprus.
In Figure 4, purchasing power standards (PPS) are used to make alternative international comparisons. PPS is an artificial common reference currency unit that eliminates price level differences between countries. One PPS thus buys the same given volume of goods/services in all countries. From this comparison, it follows that, relative to the cost of other goods and services, electricity for household consumers was the most expensive in Portugal, Germany, Romania and Spain, while it was relatively cheap in Finland, Sweden and Luxembourg.
Table 4 shows the composition of the electricity price for medium household consumers divided into the following 3 main components: Energy and supply, network costs and taxes and levies. Figure 5 shows the share of the energy and supply component and the share of network costs. Network costs were relatively low in Malta, Greece and in the United Kingdom, while an energy component between 30 and 40% was found in Sweden, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Electricity prices for industrial consumers
For industrial consumers, electricity prices during the second semester of 2015 were the highest in Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany (see Figure 6). The EU-28 average price (this price is weighted with the latest available (2014) national consumption for industrial consumers) was EUR 0.119 per kWh.
Table 7 shows the proportion of non-recoverable taxes and levies in the overall electricity price for industrial consumers. The first data column corresponds to the prices excluding all taxes and levies. The figures displayed in columns 2 and 3 are the absolute and relative non-recoverable tax contributions in euro per kWh and in per cent. The highest taxes are charged in Germany where 45 % is made up of non-recoverable taxes and levies.
Figure 7 shows the trend of EU-28 and EA electricity prices for industrial consumers over the last 8 years. Electricity prices for this sector increased in 2008 and during the first semester of 2009, decreased during the second semester of 2009, went up again between 2010 and 2014. From the second semester of 2014 onwards a decreasing trend can be observed.
Table 9 and Figure 9 show the electricity prices for industrial consumers including all non-recoverable taxes and levies in national currency (NAT) and its percentage change during the last 12 months. Between the second half of 2014 and the second half of 2015, electricity prices in this sector decreased in 18 out of the 28 EU Member States. The largest price increases among EU Member States between the second semester of 2014 and the second semester of 2015 were observed in Poland (+4 %), Bulgaria and the United Kingdom (both over +3%), while prices went down significantly in Cyprus (-26 %), Malta (-23 %) and Greece (-11 %).
Table 8 shows the composition of the electricity price for medium industrial consumers divided into the following 3 main components: Energy and Supply, network costs and taxes & levies. Figure 8 shows the share of the energy and supply component and the share of network costs. Network costs for medium size industrial electricity consumers compared to the energy and supply component were relatively low in Bulgaria, Malta and Spain, while they were relatively high in Slovakia and Belgium.
Electricity household consumers
Throughout this article, a reference to "household" will relate to the medium standard household consumption band with an annual electricity consumption between 2 500 and 5 000 kWh. All figures are consumer retail prices and include all taxes, levies and VAT.
Remark: The comparison between the 2014 and 2015 prices are made with national currency prices to exclude changes in national currency to euro exchange rates for non-euro Member States.
Electricity industrial consumers
Throughout this article, a reference to "industrial consumer" will relate to the medium standard industrial consumption band with an annual consumption of electricity between 500 and 2 000 MWh.
In this article, only level 2 prices are presented that correspond to the basic price for electricity production and network costs including all non-recoverable taxes and levies.
Due to a change in methodology from 2007 onwards, there is a break in series and hence only a relatively short time series available. Nevertheless, even in this relatively short timeframe, electricity prices have fluctuated considerably.
The transparency of energy prices is guaranteed within the EU through the obligation for EU Member States to send Eurostat information relating to prices for different categories of industrial and business users (prices for the household sector are provided on a voluntary basis), as well as data relating to market shares, conditions of sale, and pricing systems.
Electricity tariffs or price schemes vary from one supplier to another. They may result from negotiated contracts, especially for large industrial users. For smaller consumers, they are generally set according to the amount of electricity consumed along with a number of other characteristics; most tariffs also include some form of fixed charge. There is, therefore, no single price for electricity. In order to compare prices over time and between countries, this article shows information for consumption bands from the household sector and for industrial/business users. There are in total five different types of households for which electricity prices are collected following different annual consumption bands. Across industrial/business users, electricity prices are collected for a total of seven different types of users.
Statistics on electricity prices charged to industrial/business users are collected under the legal basis of a European Commission Decision (2007/394/EC) of 7 June 2007 amending Council Directive (90/377/EEC) with regard to the methodology to be applied for the collection of electricity prices. Directive 2008/92/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 22 October 2008 concerns procedures to improve the transparency electricity prices charged to industrial end-users. As noted above, electricity prices for households are collected on a voluntary basis.
The prices presented cover average prices over a period of six months (semester) from January to June (semester 1 or S1) and from July to December (semester 2 or S2) of each year. Prices include the basic price of the electricity, transmission and distribution charges, meter rental, and other services. Electricity prices for household consumers are presented in this article including taxes, levies, non-tax levies, fees and value added tax (VAT) as this generally reflects the end price paid by consumers in the domestic sector. As industrial/business users are usually able to recover VAT and some other taxes, prices for enterprises are shown without VAT and other recoverable taxes/levies/fees in this article. The unit for electricity prices in this article is that of euro per kilowatt hour (EUR per kWh).
Euro conversion rates can be found in Table 10. The PPP factors that are used for the analysis of the second semester of 2015 price data are average PPP values for 2014. here.
The price and reliability of energy supplies, electricity in particular, are key elements in a country’s energy supply strategy. Electricity prices are of particular importance for international competitiveness, as electricity usually represents a significant proportion of total energy costs for industrial and service-providing businesses. In contrast to the price of fossil fuels, which are usually traded on global markets with relatively uniform prices, there is a wider range of prices within the EU Member States for electricity. The price of electricity is, to some degree, influenced by the price of primary fuels and, more recently, by the cost of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission certificates.
These issues were touched upon in a Communication from the European Commission titled, ‘Facing the challenge of higher oil prices’ (COM(2008) 384), which called on the EU to become more efficient in its use of energy, and less dependent on fossil fuels - in particular, by following the approach laid out in the climate change and renewable energy package.
The EU has acted to liberalise electricity and gas markets since the second half of the 1990s. Directives adopted in 2003 established common rules for internal markets for electricity and natural gas. Deadlines were set for opening markets and allowing customers to choose their supplier: as of 1 July 2004 for business customers and as of 1 July 2007 for all consumers (including households). Certain countries anticipated the liberalisation process, while others were much slower in adopting the necessary measures. Indeed, significant barriers to entry remain in many electricity and natural gas markets as seen through the number of markets that are still dominated by (near) monopoly suppliers. In July 2009, the European Parliament and Council adopted a third package of legislative proposals aimed at ensuring a real and effective choice of suppliers, as well as benefits for customers. It is thought that increased transparency for gas and electricity prices should help promote fair competition, by encouraging consumers to choose between different energy sources (oil, coal, natural gas and renewable energy sources) and different suppliers. Energy price transparency can be made more effective by publishing and broadcasting as widely as possible prices and pricing systems.
Further Eurostat information
- Energy (t_nrg), see
- Energy Statistics - prices (t_nrg_price)
- Electricity prices by type of user (ten00117)
- Energy (nrg), see:
- Energy Statistics - prices (nrg_price)
- Energy Statistics: gas and electricity prices - New methodology from 2007 onwards (nrg_pc)
- Energy Statistics: gas and electricity prices - Old methodology until 2007 (nrg_pc_h)
Methodology / Metadata
- Electricity prices (ESMS metadata file — nrg_pc_204_esms)
Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)
- Eurelectric - Electricity for Europe - Statistics
- European Commission - Energy