Energy price statistics

Data extracted in May 2015. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update: May 2016.

This article highlights the development of electricity and natural gas prices for both industrial and household users in the European Union (EU); furthermore, price information for petroleum products is also provided. More detailed energy price statistics are available in two articles on electricity prices and natural gas prices .

The price of energy depends on a range of different supply and demand conditions, including the geopolitical situation, import diversification, network costs, environmental protection costs, severe weather conditions, and levels of excise and taxation; note that prices presented in this article generally include taxes, levies and value added tax (VAT) for household consumers but exclude (deductible) VAT for industrial / business users.

Table 1: Half-yearly electricity and gas prices, second half of year, 2012–14
(EUR per kWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_204), (nrg_pc_205), (nrg_pc_202) and (nrg_pc_203)
Figure 1: Electricity prices for household consumers, second half 2014 (1)
(EUR per kWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_204)
Figure 2: Electricity prices for industrial consumers, second half 2014 (1)
(EUR per kWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_205)
Figure 3: Natural gas prices for household consumers, second half 2014 (1)
(EUR per kWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_202)
Figure 4: Natural gas prices for industrial consumers, second half 2014 (1)
(EUR per kWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_203)
Figure 5: Consumer prices of petroleum products, EU, 2005–14 (1)
(EUR per litre)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_203)Source: Oil bulletin, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission
Table 2: Consumer prices of petroleum products, end of second half 2014
(EUR per litre)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_203)Source: Oil bulletin, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission

Main statistical findings

An overview of average prices for natural gas and electricity for the last three years (second half of each year) is given in Table 1.

Electricity prices for household consumers

The analysis of electricity prices for households is based on prices for the medium standard household consumption band, namely one with annual electricity consumption between 2 500 and 5 000 kWh.

Electricity prices for a medium-sized household were highest during the second half of 2014 in Denmark, Germany and Ireland (see Figure 1). By far the lowest electricity prices for household consumers were found in Bulgaria, with the next lowest prices reported for Hungary; household electricity prices were even lower in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo.

The average price of electricity for household consumers in the EU-28 (the prices for each EU Member State are weighted according to their consumption by the household sector) was EUR 0.208 per kWh in the second half of 2014. The price of electricity for household consumers in Denmark (EUR 0.304 per kWh) was 3.4 times as high as in Bulgaria (EUR 0.090 per kWh).

The share of taxes and levies (including VAT) within the total price of electricity was lowest in the United Kingdom and Malta (both 4.8 %), resulting from a relatively low VAT rate being applied to the basic price, while no other taxes were added; these were the only two EU Member States where the share of taxation in the final price was in single digits.

At the other end of the scale, the highest proportion of taxes in the final price of electricity for consumers was recorded in Denmark, where more than half (56.8 %) of the final price was made up of VAT, taxes and levies, as was the case in Germany (51.6 %); Portugal (41.7 %) had the next highest share.

The largest price increases among EU Member States between the second half of 2013 and the second half of 2014 were observed in the United Kingdom (12.0 %) and France (10.2 %). The average increase for the whole of the EU-28 was 2.9 % although a small majority of the Member States reported price falls. Malta (-26.2 %), the Czech Republic (-14.7 %) and Hungary (-13.6 %) saw the most substantial falls in the price of electricity charged to household consumers.

Electricity prices for industrial consumers

For industrial consumers the analysis is based on prices for the medium standard industrial consumption band, with annual electricity consumption between 500 and 2 000 MWh; note that prices for industrial users correspond to the basic price and non-deductible taxes and levies and therefore exclude deductible VAT.

EU-28 electricity prices for industrial consumers during the second half of 2014 averaged EUR 0.120 per kWh. The price of electricity for this category of consumers was highest in Cyprus, Malta and Italy (see Figure 2), while relatively low prices were recorded for Finland and Sweden (which had the lowest price level, EUR 0.067 per kWh); in Serbia industrial electricity prices were as low as in Sweden while in Bosnia and Herzegovina they were lower.

A similar analysis to that performed for household consumers shows that the highest proportions of taxes and levies (other than VAT) in the price of electricity for industrial consumers were recorded in Germany (46.8 %) and Italy (39.4 %); these were the only EU Member States to record shares in excess of 30.0 %. At the other end of the scale, there were no taxes and levies (other than deductible VAT) applied to the price of electricity for industrial consumers in Malta, and the share of taxes and levies was less than 2.0 % in Denmark, Sweden, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

The price of electricity for a medium-sized industrial consumer rose in the EU-28 by 1.6 % between the second half of 2013 and the second half of 2014. This upward pattern was reproduced in a minority of the EU Member States, with double-digit price increases being recorded for Bulgaria (16.0 %) and the United Kingdom (11.9 %). There were six more Member States where the price of electricity for industrial consumers increased during this period, with the remainder recording falls; these price reductions exceeded 10.0 % in Slovenia, Sweden, Denmark and the Czech Republic.

Natural gas prices for household consumers

This analysis of natural gas prices for households is based on prices for the medium standard household consumption band, with annual natural gas consumption between 20 and 200 GJ, in other words between 5 556 and 55 556 kWh.

In the second half of 2014, the price of natural gas to a medium-sized household within the EU-28 was EUR 0.072 per kWh. Natural gas prices were highest in Sweden (EUR 0.114 per kWh) and Portugal (EUR 0.104 per kWh) (see Figure 3). By far the lowest natural gas prices for households were found in Romania (EUR 0.032 per kWh) and Hungary (EUR 0.035 per kWh), while Poland, the Baltic Member States, Croatia and Bulgaria also reported prices that were no higher than EUR 0.050 per kWh. The price of natural gas for households in the most expensive country — Sweden — was 3.6 times as high as the price charged in the cheapest country — Romania.

For household consumers, the tax burden as a share of the total price of natural gas was lowest in the United Kingdom (4.8 % of the total price) where a relatively low VAT rate was applied with no additional energy taxes or levies. None of the other EU Member States reported that taxes, levies and VAT accounted for a single-digit share of the price of natural gas to household consumers. In Denmark, three fifths (61.0 %) of the final price of natural gas for household consumers was made up of taxes, levies and VAT while in Romania the share was just over half (52.0 %).

Between the second half of 2013 and the second half of 2014, natural gas prices for households rose by 2.0 % in the EU-28. Across the 25 Member States for which data are available (Finland, not available; Cyprus and Malta, not applicable), prices rose by 11.4 % in Portugal, 9.9 % in the United Kingdom, 7.5 % in Spain and by less than 5.0 % in seven other Member States. By contrast, there were five Member States where natural gas prices fell by more than 10.0 %, among which Hungary (-16.4 %) and Lithuania (-18.7 %) reported the largest reductions.

Natural gas prices for industrial consumers

For industrial consumers, the medium standard industrial consumption band is used, which corresponds to an annual natural gas consumption between 10 000 and 100 000 GJ, in other words between 2 778 and 27 778 GWh; note that prices for industrial users correspond to the basic price and non-deductible taxes and levies and therefore exclude deductible VAT.

Across the EU-28, the price of natural gas for a medium-sized industrial consumer averaged EUR 0.037 per kWh in the second half of 2014. Natural gas prices during the second half of 2014 were highest in Finland, Portugal and Greece (see Figure 4). However, the difference in prices across the EU Member States was far less than that observed for household consumers. The lowest natural gas price for industrial consumers among the Member States was recorded in Belgium; the average price in Turkey was slightly lower.

The relative share of tax and other levies (other than VAT) in the price of natural gas for industrial consumers was highest in Romania where close to one third (31.5 %) of the final price was made up of taxes and levies, while taxes and levies accounted for more than one quarter of the final price in Denmark. By contrast, in Lithuania there were no taxes and levies applied to the price of natural gas for industrial consumers, while in Croatia, Spain, Poland, Portugal and Luxembourg the weight of taxes and other levies in the price of natural gas for industrial remained below 2.0 %.

Between the second half of 2013 and the second half of 2014, natural gas prices for industrial users decreased in 21 of the 26 EU Member States for which data are available (Cyprus and Malta, not applicable). The highest price increases were observed in Finland (19.4 %) and Portugal (12.9 %), while prices fell by 12–20 % in Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Hungary and Sweden.

Consumer prices for petroleum products

Consumer prices for petroleum products are published both with taxes and duties and without them. Figure 5 shows the development of prices between 2005 and 2014 for three types of automotive fuel, with a notable peak in the first half of 2008, followed by a considerable correction during the second half of the same year. Thereafter, there was a gradual increase in price of all petroleum products, such that by the second half of 2012, the prices of the three products shown were at historical highs. For petrol (Euro-super 95) the price remained relatively stable in 2013, reached a new peak in the first half of 2014 and fell strongly in the second half of 2014. For automotive diesel the development was similar, without the peak in the first half of 2014. For liquid petroleum gas (LPG), a price fall was recorded in the first half of 2013 which was followed in the second half of the year by a rise of similar proportions before prices declined again in 2014.

The average price of Euro-super 95 in the EU was EUR 1.38 per litre at the end of 2014, while that for automotive diesel was EUR 0.12 lower. At the end of 2014 the price of Euro-super 95 was 35.0 % higher than it had been at the end of 2008, while the corresponding price difference for automotive diesel was 26.4 %.

Table 2 presents the price of petroleum products within the EU Member States. The highest price for Euro-super 95 at the end of 2014 was recorded in Italy (EUR 1.57 per litre), which was EUR 0.47 higher than in Romania (where the lowest price was registered). The highest price for automotive diesel at the end of 2014 was recorded in the United Kingdom (EUR 1.54 per litre) which was EUR 0.49 higher than in Luxembourg (where the lowest price was registered).

Table 2 also gives an indication of the difference in the price of petroleum products on the basis of a comparison between prices without taxes and duties and final consumer prices — as experienced at-the-pump. Across the EU-28 as a whole, the price paid at-the-pump by consumers for Euro-super 95 was 2.7 times as high as the price without taxes and duties. The inclusion of taxes and duties in the final price of Euro-super 95 generally resulted in the price being more than doubled: the only exception was Bulgaria.

Data sources and availability

Statistics on electricity and natural gas prices that are charged to industrial / business consumers are collected under the legal basis of a European Commission Decision (2007/394) of 7 June 2007 amending Council Directive (90/377) with regard to the methodology to be applied for the collection of electricity and natural gas prices. Directive 2008/92 of the European Parliament and Council of 22 October 2008 concerns procedures to improve the transparency of electricity and natural gas prices charged to industrial end-users. Electricity and natural gas prices for households are collected on a voluntary basis.

As a result of the introduction of this legislation there was a change in the methodology used for the collection of electricity and natural gas price statistics relating to data from 2007 onwards. This break in series has resulted in a decision being taken to publish only the relatively short time series that are available based upon the revised methodology.

The transparency of electricity and natural gas prices is guaranteed through the obligation on 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 and gas 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 or gas 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 or natural gas. In order to compare prices over time and between countries, this article shows information for selected consumption bands for household and industrial consumers. There are in total five different types of households for which electricity prices are collected following different annual consumption bands, while for natural gas statistics information is collated for three different types of households. Across industrial / business users, electricity prices are collected for a total of seven different types of users, while for natural gas prices there are six different types of user distinguished. Quantities of natural gas that are used for chemical processes or electricity production are excluded from the survey.

The electricity and natural gas prices presented in this article cover average prices over a period of six months from January to June (the first half of the year). Prices include the basic price of the electricity / gas, transmission and distribution charges, meter rental and other services. Electricity prices for household consumers are presented including taxes, levies, non-tax levies, fees and VAT, thereby reflecting the end price that is generally paid by consumers in the household sector. As industrial / business users are usually able to recover VAT and some other taxes, prices for these enterprises are shown without VAT and other deductible taxes / levies / fees.

The information presented on petroleum products is provided from the Oil bulletin, which is published by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy. This source of information presents the price of petroleum products on a weekly basis, both with and without taxes and duties. In this article prices are shown for the last weekly price in June for the first half year and December for the second half year.

Context

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 some 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 or natural gas. The price of electricity and natural gas is, to some degree, influenced by the price of primary fuels and, more recently, by the cost of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission certificates.

Internal market

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. As a result, the European Parliament and Council adopted a third package of legislative proposals in July 2009 aimed at ensuring a real and effective choice of suppliers, as well as benefits for consumers. Since March 2011, the electricity (2009/72) and gas (2009/73/EC). Directives of this third package have been transposed into national law along with three new Regulations — one on conditions for access to natural gas transmission networks (715/2009), one on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchange of electricity (714/2009) and one on the establishment of an agency for the cooperation of energy regulators (ACER) (713/2009).

The third package sought to achieve integrated national energy markets by 2014 through:

  • the effective unbundling of energy production and supply interests from network operation;
  • an increase in the transparency of retail markets and a strengthening of consumer protection rules;
  • a more effective regulatory oversight by independent market watchdogs;
  • the establishment of an agency for the cooperation of energy regulators (ACER) to ensure effective cooperation between national regulatory authorities and to take decisions on cross-border issues;
  • better cross-border collaboration and investment through a new European network for transmission system operators to bring together EU electricity and gas grid operators to cooperate and develop common commercial and technical codes and security standards.

In October 2014 the European Commission adopted a Communication titled ‘Progress towards completing the Internal Energy Market’ (COM(2014) 634). This noted that while market integration was on-going and delivering concrete results, market integration required more grids and transparent, simple and robust rules. In this context, in February 2015 the European Commission adopted a Communication titled ‘Achieving the 10 % electricity interconnection target — making Europe’s electricity grid fit for 2020’ (COM(2015) 82). This outlined the benefits of an interconnected energy system and the need to make full use of financial instruments such as the connecting Europe facility, the European structural and investment funds and European fund for strategic investment.

Energy prices and costs

In January 2014, the European Commission adopted a Communication on energy prices and costs in Europe (COM(2014) 21). This noted that energy price rises create additional cost burdens on households and industry and affect competitiveness. It noted that the European Commission had prepared an analysis of energy prices and costs in Europe, with a focus on electricity and gas prices, while drawing conclusions to help inform decision makers on the policy measures that might be needed. The European Commission proposed a number of courses of action with a view to ensuring that Europe’s citizens and businesses can deal effectively with the energy price challenge and that the EU can maintain its competitiveness, today, to 2030, and beyond.

See also

Further Eurostat information

Publications

Main tables

Energy statistics - prices (t_nrg_price)
Gas prices by type of user (ten00118)
Electricity prices by type of user (ten00117)

Database

Energy statistics - prices of natural gas and electricity (nrg_price)
Energy statistics - natural gas and electricity prices - (from 2007 onwards) (nrg_pc)
Energy statistics - natural gas and electricity prices - (until 2007) (nrg_pc_h)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata

Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)

External links