Electricity price statistics
Data extracted in April 2021.
Planned article update: 20 October 2021.
Electricity prices (including taxes) for household consumers, second half 2020
This article highlights the development of electricity prices both for household and non-household consumers within the European Union (EU). When available, it also includes price data from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway; Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.
The price of energy in the EU-27 depends on a range of different supply and demand conditions, including the geopolitical situation, the national energy mix, 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 for non-household consumers.
Electricity prices for household consumers
Highest electricity prices in Germany and Denmark
For household consumers in the EU-27, (defined for the purpose of this article as medium-sized consumers with an annual consumption between 2 500 kWh and 5 000 kWh), electricity prices in the second half of 2020 were highest in Germany (EUR 0.3006 per kWh), Denmark (EUR 0.2819 per kWh) and Belgium (EUR 0.2702 per kWh); see Figure 1. The lowest electricity prices were in Bulgaria (EUR 0.0982 per kWh), Hungary (EUR 0.1009 per kWh) and Estonia (EUR 0.1291 per kWh). The price of electricity for household consumers in Germany was more than three times as high as the price in Bulgaria.
The EU average price in the second semester of 2020 — a weighted average using the most recent (2020) data for electricity by household consumers — was EUR 0.2134 per kWh.
Figure 2 depicts the development of electricity prices for household consumers in the EU since the first half of 2008. The price without taxes, i.e. the energy, supply and network, increased slightly faster than the overall inflation rate (HICP) until the second half of 2013 when it was EUR 0.1338 per kWh. From 2014 to 2019, it remained relatively stable. In the first semester 2020 was EUR 0.127 per kWh and now stands at EUR 0.1282 per kWh. The weight of the taxes has increased from 31.2 % in the first half of 2008 to 40 % in the second half of 2020.
For the 2008 prices adjusted for inflation, the total price for household consumers, i.e. including all taxes, was 0.19 EUR per kWh in the second half of 2020 compared to 0.16 EUR per kWh in the first half of 2008. We observe that this price is lower than the actual prices including taxes but remains at the same level for the prices without taxes.
Weight of taxes and levies differs greatly between Member States
Figure 3 shows the proportion of taxes and levies in the overall electricity retail price for household consumers. In the EU-27, the share of taxes in the second half of 2020 was smallest in the Netherlands, where it was even negative (-0.3 %). The Netherlands provide a refund (allowance), and thus reported negative share of other taxes and levies in this collection. The relative share of taxes was highest in Denmark, making up 67.8 % of the total price. The VAT in the EU-27 represents 15 % of the total price. It ranges from 4.8 % in Malta to 21.3 % in Hungary.
Largest falls in electricity prices in the Netherlands, Cyprus and Sweden
Figure 4 shows the percentage change in electricity prices for household consumers including all taxes and VAT from the second half of 2019 to the second half of 2020. For comparison purposes and for calculating the aggregates, the average exchange rates of national currencies were used. For energy prices, comparing year on year, instead of semester on semester, is most meaningful to avoid seasonal effects. Year on year, total prices fell in fourteen EU-27 Member States. The percentage decrease was biggest in the Netherlands (-33.8 %) and Cyprus (-24.1 %). Tax decreases mainly drove the reduction in the Netherlands, where the refund (allowance) increased. All components except the environmental taxes contributed to the decrease in Cyprus. Luxembourg (10.3 %) and Poland (9.7 %) recorded the highest relative price increase. All components contributed to these increases.
Share of transmission&distribution costs for non-household electricity consumers
Figure 5 presents the share of transmission&distribution costs for household electricity consumers. Distribution costs account for the largest share by far, when compared to the transmission costs. This is normal for all types of networks including the electricity system.
Transmission network is used for transmitting bulk amounts of energy in long distances. The distribution network is usually the part of the system where the consumers are connected. The distribution network is denser than the transmission network, therefore, its share at the costs is expected to be higher.
Countries with lower population density require more extensive transmission network to meet their needs. Its costs are higher when compared to the countries with higher population density. Smaller, densely populated countries use mostly their distribution network.
In 2020, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Finland have the highest share of distribution costs, with 100%, 91.8% and 90% respectively. In 2020, Cyprus, Lithuania and Croatia have the highest share of transmission costs with 30.0 %, 29.6 % and 26.5 % respectively.
Electricity prices for non-household consumers
Electricity prices highest in Cyprus and Italy
Non-household consumers are (defined for the purpose of this article as medium-sized consumers with an annual consumption between 500 MWh and 2 000 MWh). As depicted in Figure 6, electricity prices in the second half of 2020 were highest in Germany (EUR 0.1818 per kWh) and Italy (EUR 0.1514 per kWh). We observe the lowest price in Sweden (EUR 0.0588 per kWh) and Denmark (EUR 0.0686 per kWh). The EU average price in the second semester of 2020 was EUR 0.1254 per kWh. The aggregates are weighted averages taking into consideration the average consumption in each band.
Figure 7 shows the development of electricity prices for non-household consumers in the EU-27 since the first half of 2008. The price without taxes, i.e. the energy, supply and network, increased similarly to the overall inflation until 2012 when it peaked at EUR 0.0943 per kWh in the first semester. It then generally decreased, the second semester of 2019 was at EUR 0.0781 per kWh and stood in the second half of 2020 at EUR 0.0822 per kWh, lower than the 2008 first half price.
Nevertheless, the weight of the taxes has increased continuously from 13.8 % in the first half of 2008 to 35.3 % in the second half of 2020. Therefore, if we look at the non-household total price, i.e. including the non-recoverable taxes, for the second half of 2020, it increased (29.5 %) compared to the 2008 first half price adjusted for inflation from EUR 0.0968 per kWh to EUR 0.1254 per kWh.
For the 2008 prices adjusted for inflation, the total price for non-household consumers, i.e. including taxes, was 0.1136 EUR per kWh in the second half of 2020 compared to 0.0968 EUR per kWh in the first half of 2008. We observe that this price is lower than the actual price including taxes. The total price for non-household consumers, i.e. without taxes, was 0.0979 EUR per kWh in the second half of 2020 compared to 0.0834 EUR per kWh in the first half of 2008. We observe that this price is higher than the actual price excluding taxes.
Proportion of non-recoverable taxes and levies in electricity prices
Figure 8 presents the proportion of non-recoverable taxes and levies in the overall electricity price for non-household consumers. In the second half of 2020, the share of taxes was highest in Germany and Italy, where non-recoverable taxes and levies made up 51.3 % and 42 % of the total price respectively. The share of taxes for the EU-27 is 34.4 %.
Development of electricity prices for non-household consumers
Figure 9 shows the change in electricity prices for non-household consumers including all non-recoverable taxes and levies from the second half of 2019 to the second half of 2020. For comparison purposes and for calculating the aggregates, the average exchange rates of national currencies were used. These prices fell in twelve EU-27 Member States. The biggest decreases were recorded in Cyprus (-24.2 %) and Sweden (-15.3 %), followed by Italy (-6.3 %). It increased in the fifteen other EU-27 Member States. We recorded the by far largest increases in Poland (30.1 %), almost double the one in the Netherlands (15.1 %), and see increases of 10.0 % or more in Germany (13.1 %) and Ireland (11.9 %).
Share of transmission&distribution costs for non-household electricity consumers
Figure 10 presents the share of transmission&distribution costs for non-household electricity consumers. As for households consumers, distribution costs account for the largest share, compared to transmission costs. This is normal for all types of networks including the electricity system. Transmission network is used for transmitting bulk amounts of energy in long distances. The distribution network is usually where the consumers are connected. The distribution network is denser than the transmission network, therefore, its share at the costs are expected to be higher.
Countries with lower population density more extensive transmission network to meet their needs. Its costs are higher, when compared to the countries with higher population density. Smaller, densely populated countries use mostly their distribution network.
However, several non-households consumers can be directly connected to the transmission network or use part of the distribution network (medium voltage only). Therefore, transmission cost share can be higher when compared to households consumers.
In 2020, Luxembourg, Czechia and Sweden have the highest share of distribution costs, with 91%, 90.8% (estimated) and 87.8% respectively. In 2020, Belgium, Italy and Denmark have the highest share of transmission costs with 57.6 %, 54.2 % and 48.0 % respectively.
Source data for tables and graphs
Defining household consumers
Throughout this article, references to household consumers 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 taxes, levies and VAT.
Defining non-household consumers
Throughout this article, references to non-household consumers relate to the medium standard non-household consumption band with an annual consumption of electricity between 500 and 2 000 MWh. In this article, prices correspond to the price for electricity production, its supply, the network costs and includes all non-recoverable taxes and levies.
Comparison between the 2019 and 2020 prices are made in euro prices.
Prices in national currencies are converted into euro using the average exchange rate of the period for which the prices were reported.
Prices are always compared with the prices of the same semesters (i.e. year on year) in order to avoid seasonal effects.
In 2016, Regulation (EU) 2016/1952 entered into force. It defines the obligation for the collection and dissemination of electricity prices for household and non-household consumers. Until 2016, the domain of non-household consumers was defined as industrial consumers, but reporting authorities were allowed to include other non-household consumers. Regulation (EU) 2016/1952 changed the definition from industrial to non-household consumers to have a unique methodology for all reporting countries. Until January 2017, the reporting authorities provided their price data for the household sector on a voluntary basis.
Electricity tariffs or price schemes vary from one supplier to another. They may result from negotiated contracts, especially for large non-household consumers. For smaller consumers, they are generally set according to a number of characteristics including the amount of electricity consumed. 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 EU-27 Member States, this article shows information for consumption bands for household consumers and for non-household consumers. Electricity prices for household consumers are divided into five annual consumption bands and, for non-household consumers, into seven different consumption bands.
The prices collected cover average prices over a period of six months (a half-year or semester) from January to June (first semester) and from July to December (second semester) of each year. Prices include the basic price of electricity, transmission and distribution charges, meter rental, and other services. Electricity prices for household consumers presented in this article include taxes, levies, non-tax levies, fees and value added tax (VAT) as this generally reflects the total price paid by household consumers. As non-household consumers are usually able to recover VAT and some other taxes, prices for non-household consumers are shown without VAT and other recoverable taxes/levies/fees. The unit for electricity prices is that of euro per kilowatt-hour (EUR per kWh).
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. Contrary to the price of fossil fuels, which are usually traded on global markets with relatively uniform prices, electricity prices vary widely among EU-27 Member States. The price of primary fuels and, more recently, the cost of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission certificates influence, to some degree, the price of electricity.
The EU-27 has acted to liberalize 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). Some EU-27 Member States anticipated the liberalization 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 still dominated by (near) monopoly suppliers.
Regulation (EU) No 2016/1952 tackles data weaknesses led to the recommendation to improve the detail, transparency and consistency of energy price data collection. An energy prices and costs report would be prepared every 2 years. The European Commission thus published such a report also in 2016 and 2018.
The fourth report on energy prices and costs was published in October 2020, as part of the 2020 State of the energy union report. It focuses on progress made on the EU’s policies on the energy transition policies and initiatives related to the European Green Deal, but it also assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the recent and expected evolution of the analysed indicators.
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 is more effective when publishing and broadcasting as widely as possible prices and pricing systems.
- Energy (t_nrg), see
- Energy statistics - main indicators (t_nrg_indic)
- Electricity prices by type of user (ten00117)
- Energy (nrg), see:
- 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)
- Energy statistics — electricity prices for domestic and industrial consumers, price components (ESMS metadata file — nrg_pc_204_esms)
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.