Electricity price statistics
Data extracted in November 2020.
Planned article update: May 2021.
Electricity prices (including taxes) for household consumers, first 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 the United Kingdom; Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway; Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Turkey; Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*; Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.
The price of energy in the EU 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, (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 first half of 2020 were highest among the EU Member States in Germany (EUR 0.3043 per kWh), Denmark (EUR 0.2833 per kWh) and Belgium (EUR 0.2792 per kWh); see Figure 1. The lowest electricity prices were in Bulgaria (EUR 0.0997 per kWh), Hungary (EUR 0.1031 per kWh) and Estonia (EUR 0.1236 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-27 average price in the first semester of 2020 — a weighted average using the most recent (2020) data for electricity by household consumers — was EUR 0.2126 per kWh.
Figure 2 depicts the development of electricity prices for household consumers in the EU-27 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. However, since 2014, it remained relatively stable, the first semester 2020 was EUR 0.1282 per kWh and now stands at EUR 0.1269 per kWh, slightly lower than the price of the first half of 2008 adjusted for inflation. By contrast, the weight of the taxes has increased continuously from 31.2 % in the first half of 2008 to 40.3 % in the first half of 2020. Consequently, the total price for household consumers, i.e. including all taxes, was substantially higher (17 %) in the first half of 2020 than in the first half of 2008 when adjusted for inflation.
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, the relative tax contribution in the first half of 2020 was smallest in the Netherlands (3.4 %). The Netherlands provide a refund (allowance), which is reported as negative other taxes and levies in this collection. The relative share of taxes was highest in Denmark, making up 66.4 % of the total price. The VAT in the EU-27 represents 15.5 % of the total price. It ranges from 4.8 % in Malta to 21.2 % in Hungary.
Largest falls in electricity prices in the Netherlands, Latvia and Slovenia
Figure 4 shows the percentage change in electricity prices for household consumers including all taxes and VAT in national currency from the first half of 2019 to the first half of 2020. For energy prices, comparing year on year, instead from semester on semester, is most meaningful to avoid seasonal effects. Year on year, total prices fell in sixteen (16) EU Member States. The percentage decrease was biggest in the Netherlands (-31.0 %) and Latvia (-12.8 %). Tax decreases mainly drove the reduction in the Netherlands, where the refund (allowance) increased. The cost of energy was the main factor for price reduction in Latvia, Slovenia, Sweden and Estonia. Lithuania (13.6 %) and Poland (12.9 %) demonstrated the highest percentage increase in price. Cost of energy was the main driver for these increases.
Electricity prices for non-household consumers
Electricity prices highest in Cyprus and Italy
For non-household consumers (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 5, electricity prices in the first half of 2020 were highest among the EU Member States in Germany (EUR 0.1781 per kWh) and Italy (EUR 0.1503 per kWh). We observe the lowest price in Sweden (EUR 0.0645 per kWh) and Denmark (EUR 0.0612 per kWh). The EU-27 average price in the first semester of 2020 — a weighted average using the most recent (2020) data for electricity consumption by non-household consumers — was EUR 0.1254 per kWh.
Figure 6 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 0.0777 per kWh and stood in the first half of 2020 at EUR 0.0811 per kWh, 17 % lower than the 2008 first half price adjusted for inflation.
Nevertheless, the weight of the taxes has increased continuously from 13.8 % in the first half of 2008 to 35.3 % in the first half of 2020. Therefore, if we look at the non-household total price, i.e. including the non-recoverable taxes, for the first half of 2020, it increased (10.5 %) compared to the 2008 first half price adjusted for inflation.
Proportion of non-recoverable taxes and levies in electricity prices
Figure 7 presents the proportion of non-recoverable taxes and levies in the overall electricity price for non-household consumers. In the first half of 2020, the share of taxes was highest in Germany and the Netherlands, where non-recoverable taxes and levies made up 52.3 % and 50.9 % of the total price respectively. The share of taxes for the EU-27 is 35.3 %.
Development of electricity prices for non-household consumers
Figure 8 shows the change in electricity prices for non-household consumers including all non-recoverable taxes and levies in national currency from the first half of 2019 to the first half of 2020. These prices fell in twelve EU Member States. The biggest decreases were recorded in Sweden (-15.3 %), followed by Denmark (-13.5 %) and Cyprus (-10.6 %). It increased in the fifteen other EU Member States. We recorded increases of 10.0 % or more in the Netherlands (46.2 %), Germany (14.4 %), Czechia (12.9 %), Poland (11.4 %), Romania (11.1 %), Austria (10.8 %) and Hungary (10.5 %).
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 2018 and 2019 prices are made in national currencies to exclude exchange rate fluctuations between national currencies and the euro.
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. With the introduction of Regulation (EU) 2016/1952, the definition was changed from industrial to non-household consumers in order 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 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 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 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). Some EU Member States 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 still dominated by (near) monopoly suppliers.
In 2008, the European Commission Facing the challenge of higher oil prices (COM(2008) 384), 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.
In July 2009, the European Parliament and Council adopted the third energy package (legislative package composed of 2 directives and 3 regulations) aimed at ensuring a real and effective choice of suppliers, as well as benefits for customers. One regulation was about the establishment of an agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators by 2011.
In May 2013, the European Council called on the Commission to carry out an in-depth analysis of the evolution of energy prices and costs in Europe.
In 2014, the European Commission, in response to the European Council request, prepared an in-depth analysis of energy prices and costs in Europe, to help policy makers understand the background context, the impact of recent price rises on consumers and the political implications. This first energy prices and costs report illustrated high global energy prices, with prices diverging considerably across EU Member States, and significantly higher for Europe than for its international trading partners, particularly the United States. Retail prices had risen more than wholesale prices because of increases in the network price components and taxes and levies. Data weaknesses led to the recommendation to improve the detail, transparency and consistency of energy price data collection and to the Commission’s proposal and the adoption of Regulation (EU) No 2016/1952. It was also decided that such 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.