Statistics Explained

Natural gas price statistics


Data extracted in April 2022.

Planned article update: October 2022.

Highlights


Year-on-year household gas prices in the second half of 2021 increased in 19 of the 24 EU Member States which reported those prices.

Year-on-year non-household gas prices in the second half of 2021 increased in all 25 EU Member States which reported those prices.

Household gas prices in the EU were highest in Sweden (€0.1855 per kWh) and lowest in Hungary (€0.0305 per kWh) in the second half of 2021.

Non-household gas prices in the EU without VAT were highest in Finland (€0.1009 per kWh) and lowest in Czechia (€0.0328 per kWh) in the second half of 2021.

[[File:Natural gas price statistics April 2022 - dynamic chart.xlsx]]

Natural gas prices (including taxes) for household consumers, second half 2021

This article highlights the development of natural gas prices for household and non-household consumers within the European Union (EU); it also includes prices data from Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, when available.

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, and 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 non-household consumers.


Full article


Natural gas prices for household consumers

Highest gas prices in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands

For household consumers in the EU (defined for the purpose of this article as medium-sized consumers with an annual consumption between 20 Gigajoules (GJ) and 200 GJ), natural gas prices in the second half of 2021 were highest Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, and lowest in Hungary, Croatia and Lithuania (see Figure 1). The price of natural gas for households in Sweden (€0.1855 per kWh) was more than six times the price charged in Hungary (€0.0305 per kWh) and 137% higher than the EU average price.


Vertical stacked bar chart on the natural gas prices for household consumers in the second half 2021 in the EU, euro area, EU Member States and some of the EFTA countries, candidate countries, potential candidates and other countries. Each bar shows the three components of the price, which are the price without taxes, the VAT, and other taxes.
Figure 1: Natural gas prices for household consumers, second half 2021
(€ per kWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_202)

The average price in the EU — a weighted average using the most recent (second half 2021) data for natural gas consumption by household consumers — was €0.0782 per kWh.

Figure 2 presents the development of natural gas prices for household consumers in the EU since the first half of 2008. Generally, these prices are higher in the second half of each year. This is due to the seasonal effect and reflected in the zig-zag shape of the curves in figure 2. Overall in the EU, there was an upward trend in natural gas total prices in the first half of each year from a low of €0.0562 per kWh in the first half of 2010 to a peak of €0.0692 per kWh in the first half of 2013. Then the price decreased until 2017, started increasing again in 2018, before dropping once more in 2020. In the second-semester of 2021, the price of natural gas for household consumers increased substantially to €0.0782 per kWh from EUR 0.0638 per kWh, a year ago, reaching an all-time high, since this data collection started. The weight of the taxes increased from 25 % in the first half of 2008 to 30 % in the second half of 2021.

Line chart with four lines showing the development of natural gas prices for household consumers in the EU from the first half of 2008 to the first half of 2021. The lines show the following four different prices: prices including taxes, prices excluding taxes, the prices of the first half of 2008 including taxes adjusted for inflation, and the prices of the first half of 2008 excluding taxes adjusted for inflation.
Figure 2: Development of natural gas prices for household consumers, EU, 2008-2021
(€ per kWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_202)

Weight of taxes and levies differs greatly between Member States

Figure 3 shows the proportion of taxes and levies in the overall natural gas retail price for household consumers. The relative tax contribution in the second half of 2021 was smallest in Greece (6.2 %) where a low VAT rate applies to the basic price. The highest taxes are observed in the Netherlands, where taxes and levies correspond to 63.6 % of the final price. In Denmark this percentage is 55.9 %. The VAT in the EU represents 14.6 % of the total price. The share of VAT in the total price ranges from 4.54 % in Greece to 21.3 % in Hungary. Compared with 2021S1, the share of taxes decreased by 5.1 %, from 35.8 % to 30.2 %. This decrease relates to the governmental allowances and subsidies to mitigate high-energy costs, as well as, from the overall increase of the energy and supply component.

Vertical stacked bar chart on the share of taxes and levies paid by household consumers for natural gas in the second half 2021 in the EU, euro area, EU Member States and some of the EFTA countries, candidate countries, potential candidates and other countries. Each bar shows the share of VAT and the share of other taxes and levies.
Figure 3: Share of taxes and levies paid by household consumers for natural gas, second half 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_202)

Higher increase in gas prices for household consumers in Bulgaria, Greece and Estonia

Figure 4 shows the change in natural gas prices for household consumers including all taxes, levies and VAT from the second half of 2020 to the second half of 2021. For comparison purposes the national currencies were used. These prices increased during the period under consideration in 20 of the 24 EU Member States for which data are available — Cyprus, Malta and Finland do not report natural gas prices in the household sector. The largest increases are observed in Bulgaria (103.2 %), Greece (96.1 %) and Estonia (82.5 %). The cost of energy was the main driver of the increases. There were only four Member States where natural gas prices for household consumers fell between the second half of 2020 and the second half of 2021: Slovakia with the sharpest decrease (-11.9 %), followed by Czechia (-5.0 %) and Portugal (-1.3 %). Prices in Slovakia are regulated. VAT waiver on natural gas and electricity prices caused the decrease in the Czech Republic in November and December 2021.

Horizontal bar chart on the percentage change in natural gas prices for household consumers in the second half of 2021 compared with previous year's same semester in the EU, the euro area, EU Member States and some of the EFTA countries, candidate countries, potential candidates and other countries.
Figure 4: Change in natural gas prices for household consumers compared with previous year's same semester, second half 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_202)

Gas prices in purchasing power standard

In Map 1, gas prices for household consumers in the second half of 2021 are shown in purchasing power standard (PPS) grouping the available countries in six categories, with gas price categories ranging from above 11.6 PPS per 100 kWh to below 6.0 PPS per 100 kWh. The final burden for the consumers needs to be calculated based on their own consumption. The gas prices expressed in purchasing power standard were highest in Sweden (14.4), Bulgaria (13.1) and Greece (12.3). The lowest gas prices based on the Purchase Power Standard were observed in Luxembourg (4.9) and Hungary (4.9).


Map on natural gas prices in purchasing power standard for household consumers in the second half 2021 in the EU Member States and some EFTA countries, candidate countries and potential candidates. Each available country is grouped to one of six categories ranging from above 11.6 PPS per 100 kWh to below 6 PPS per 100 kWh.
Map 1: Gas prices for household consumers, second half 2021
(PPS per 100 kWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_202)

Natural gas prices for non-household consumers

Gas prices for non-household consumers highest in Finland and Sweden

For non-household consumers in the EU (defined for the purpose of this article as medium-sized consumers with an annual consumption between 10 000 GJ and 100 000 GJ), natural gas prices in the second half of 2021 were by far the highest in Finland (€0.1009 per kWh) at more than twice the EU average, followed by Sweden (€0.0793 per kWh) and Denmark (€0.0792 per kWh). The lowest prices were recorded in Czechia (€0.0328 per kWh) (see Figure 5).

The EU average price — a weighted average using the most recent (second half 2021) data for natural gas consumption by non-household consumers — was €0.0416 per kWh.

Vertical stacked bar chart on the natural gas prices for non-household consumers in the second half 2021 in the EU, the euro area, EU Member States and some EFTA countries, candidate countries, potential candidates and other countries. Each bar shows the two components of the price, which are the price without taxes, and the non-recoverable taxes.
Figure 5: Natural gas prices for non-household consumers, second half 2021
(€ per kWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_203)

Figure 6 shows the development of natural gas prices for non-household consumers in the EU since the first half of 2008. These prices for non-household consumers do not display the seasonal effect observed for household consumers (see Figure 2). Three peaks are observed in the natural gas total price for non-household consumers since the data collection started. After falling to EUR 0.031 per kWh in the second half of 2009, price increased each half year peaking at €0.042 per kWh in the first half of 2013. Then, it decreased every semester, reaching a low of €0.029 in the second half of 2017, before rising again until the first semester 2019. Since then, prices decreased until the first semester of 2021, when the price increased from €0.028 per kWh in the second half of 2020 to €0.303 per kWh. Excluding taxes, in the first semester of 2021, the price is €0.0239 per kWh, almost unchanged from the €0.0238 per kWh in the second half of 2020, which was the lowest price since 2008. In the second semester of 2021 we observe a substantial price increase to €0.0365 per kWh.

The weight of the taxes have increased from around 7 % in 2008 to around 12 % in the second semester of 2021, with the peak at the first semester of 2021 with 21.2 %.

Line chart with four lines showing the development of natural gas prices for non-household consumers in the EU from the first half of 2008 to the second half of 2021. The lines show the following four different prices: prices including taxes, prices excluding taxes, the prices of the first half of 2008 including taxes adjusted for inflation, and the prices of the first half of 2008 excluding taxes adjusted for inflation.
Figure 6: Development of natural gas prices for non-household consumers, EU, 2008-2021
(€ per kWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_203)

Figure 7 presents the proportion of taxes and levies in the total natural gas price that non-household consumers cannot recover. For non-household consumers, the share of these non-recoverable taxes in the second half of 2021 was zero in Sweden, 1.4 % in Romania and 2.0 % in Bulgaria. Germany (21.6 %), Finland (20.9 %) and the Netherlands (18.9 %) found themselves at the other end of the spectrum, registering the highest shares of taxes.

Vertical bar chart on the share of taxes and levies paid by non-household consumers for natural gas in the second half 2021 in the EU, the euro area, EU Member States and some EFTA countries, candidate countries, potential candidates and other countries.
Figure 7: Share of taxes and levies paid by non-household consumers for natural gas, second half 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_203)

Development of gas prices for non-household consumers

Figure 8 shows the change in natural gas prices for non-household consumers including all non-recoverable taxes and levies from the second half of 2020 to the second half of 2021. For comparison purposes, the national currencies were used. These prices increased in all 25 EU Member States having reported these data — Cyprus and Malta do not report natural gas prices in the non-household sector. The price increased the most in Lithuania (237.6 %), followed by Estonia (170.2 %) and Denmark (168.4 %). Natural gas prices for the non-household sector increased the least in Slovakia (2.8 %).

Horizontal bar chart on the percentage change in natural gas prices for non-household consumers in the second half of 2021 compared with previous year's same semester in the EU, the Euro area, EU Member States and some EFTA countries, candidate countries, potential candidates and other countries.
Figure 8: Change in natural gas prices for non-household consumers compared with previous year's same semester, second half 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_pc_203)

Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)

Data sources

Defining household consumers

Throughout this article, references to household consumers relate to the medium standard household consumption band with an annual consumption of natural gas (only piped gas is considered) between 5 555 kWh and 55 555 kWh (20 Gigajoule (GJ) and 200 GJ). All figures are consumer retail prices and include taxes, levies and VAT. Cyprus, Malta and Finland do not report natural gas prices in the household sector. The full datasets for gas prices for households consumers are available at:

and


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 natural gas between 2 778 and 27 778 GWh (10 000 and 100 000 GJ). Prices correspond to the basic price for natural gas, including all non-recoverable taxes and levies. Cyprus and Malta do not report natural gas prices in the non-household sector. Quantities of natural gas used for chemical processes or electricity and/or combined heat and power production are excluded from these data. The full datasets for gas prices for non-households consumers are available at:

and

Methodology

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) No 2016/1952 entered into force. It defines the obligation for the collection and dissemination of natural gas 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 Regulation (EU) No 2016/1952, the definition was changed 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.

Natural gas 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 natural gas consumed. Most tariffs also include some form of fixed charge. There is, therefore, no single price for natural gas. 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. Natural gas prices for household consumers are divided into three annual consumption bands and, for non-household consumers, into six 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 natural gas, transmission and distribution charges, meter rental, and other services. Natural gas 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 natural gas prices is that of euro per kilowatt-hour (€ per kWh).

Allowances in the reference period 2021 Semester 2

Bulgaria: At the end of 2021, in response to the increased prices of natural gas for the final consumers, Bulgarian government has approved a program to compensate the household customers for a several winter months starting with December 2021. This affected current 2nd semester reporting together with the components for 2021 and will affect the next reporting for 1st semester of 2022. The program envisages a temporary mechanism to support household customers through the gas suppliers in the form of a monthly compensation, calculated and invoiced for every customer based on its consumption for the month. The compensations are fixed price in BGN/MWh without VAT and that is why they are deducted from the total final amount after VAT charging.

In the gas price reporting for the second semester of 2021, the compensation is deducted from the final price with all taxes and levies included. In the price subcomponents, it is included as a negative value under 'All other taxes, fees, levies and charges'.

Czechia: In addition to introducing a compensation scheme for electricity and natural gas prices, the government granted a temporary waiver of VAT on natural gas (LPG included) and electricity. The waiver applies to all supplies in November and December 2021.

Estonia: Household consumers can apply for an energy cost reimbursement (up to 80% of the price increase). However, at the time of reporting of 2021 prices, the scope of this measure was still unknown, and it was not taken into account in the reporting. In addition, in December 2021, all gas consumers were reimbursed 100% of the gas network service fee - this was automatically reflected in the gas bills as a lower cost towards the network service. Reduced network charges were into account in the prices reporting for the second semester of 2021. The state will compensate the network operators for the reduced amount through the Environmental Investment Centre based on a submitted application.

France: Regulated gas rates (TRV), updated every month, were frozen in November of 2021 at the level of October 2021, implying stability for the last trimester of 2021. End-of-year TRV prices have little effect on prices for the year, because household contracts are mostly at a fixed price with an annual revision bill. Therefore, the effect of the gas price freeze at the end of the year will essentially be seen in 2022. Regulated gas rates (TRV) actually benefit fewer and fewer households: 27.8 % on September 30, 2021 and 26.6 % on December 31, 2021. Those regulated gas rates (TRV) only regulate the household market in 2021S2: they do not exist any longer in the non-household market.

Context

The price and reliability of energy supplies are key elements in a country’s energy supply strategy. Natural gas prices are of particular importance for international competitiveness, as natural gas might represent 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, natural gas prices vary widely among EU Member States.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Tackling rising energy prices: a toolbox for action and support, COM2021(0660) final, points out the observed increase of wholesale energy prices. It is expected that it will be reflected in the final consumer prices in the official statistics for this reference period. The energy prices evolution in the second semester 2021 will be available as European official statistics level in April 2022.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, REPowerEU: Joint European Action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy, COM2022(108) final, paves the way to reach independence from Russian gas well before the end of the decade.

In 2019, the European Commission presented the Clean energy for all Europeans package. The Commission completed a comprehensive update of its energy policy framework to facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy and to deliver on the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Fit for 55 legislative proposals cover a wide range of policy areas including climate, energy, transport and taxation, setting out the ways in which the Commission will reach its updated 2030 target in real terms.

Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas aims to introduce common rules for the transmission, distribution, supply and storage of natural gas with the objectives of providing market access and enabling fair and non-discriminatory competition.

Regulation (EU) 2019/942 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 establishing a European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators. ACER, among others, assists the regulatory authorities in carrying out, at EU level, the regulatory tasks performed in the EU countries.

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 sixth report on energy prices and costs , as part of the 2021 State of the energy union report was published in 26 October 2021. The 2021 report is the first state of the energy union report since the adoption of the European Climate Law and the second since the adoption of the European Green Deal. It gives emphasis to the sharp spike in gas and electricity prices.

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.

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