Electricity Prices in Europe – Who Pays the Most?

How much does electricity cost in the EU?

Electricity costs are on a continuous upward trend in almost all European countries for many years now. The average values vary significantly across the EU, ranging from 9.97 cents|kWh in Bulgaria to 30.88 cents in Germany.

In 2019, the average residential consumer’s electricity price in Europe was 20.5 cents per kilowatt hour [cents/kWh], an increase of 19% over the average price of 16.8 cents | kWh 10 years ago. The highest rise in cost within this period has been found in Latvia [55%], the UK [46%] and Belgium [43%]. The largest decreases in electricity prices for households were recorded in Hungary [-29%] and Malta [-21%].

Between 2018 and 2019, electricity prices rose particularly in the Netherlands [+ 18.7%], Cyprus [+ 16.4%] and Lithuania [+ 14.4%].

European countries with the highest electricity prices

In Europe, residential consumer prices for electricity have long exceeded the industrial prices, and the gap has even become bigger in recent years. The highest residential electricity prices are paid in Germany [30.88 cents] and Denmark [29.84] for many years in a row now. The price per kilowatt hour is more than three times higher than in Bulgaria [9.97 cents]. Belgium [28.0 cents] and Ireland [23.1 cents] are competing for the 3rd and 4th place.
Belgium [28.29 ct] and Ireland [24.23 ct] are competing for the 3rd and 4th position in the electricity price ranking. Spain follows in fifth place with 24.03 cents per kilowatt hour.

Why are electricity prices so different in Europe?

The energy prices in the EU depend on a range of factors, including the geopolitical location, taxation, network charges or environmental protection costs. The prices for electricity procurement and supply [network costs] have remained stable in Europe over the past 10 years. The average rose from 12.3 cents per kWh in 2010 to currently 13.2 cents.

Taxes and levies make the biggest difference. Their share climbed steadily, from 25.6% in 2010 to 36.6% in 2019. These values vary greatly from one country to another, with rates as high as 63,7% in Denmark and 52,3% in Germany. The lowest taxes are paid in Malta at 7%. Ireland is also at the other end of the tax scale, paying only a tax premium of 16.3%.

Electricity price in kWh per country in Europe

electricity price in cents | kWh
Great Britain21.22
Czech Republic17.48

Which country in Europe has cheapest electricity?

Bulgaria [EUR 0.096 per kWh] and Hungary [EUR 0.109 per kWh] have the lowest electricity prices if you only look at the numbers. If the energy costs are put in relation to the consumers income, Luxembourg is the European country with the cheapest electricity.

European energy prices in relation to the purchasing power [2018]

Electricity prices have risen in almost all European countries since 2010. But in addition to the price per kilowatt hour, there are also significant differences in the amount of money available that people can spend. To enable a better European comparison, there is the fictitious currency PPS, the purchasing power standard. The gross domestic product per capita of the country is converted into purchasing power standards [PPS] taking other factors into account.

According to European electricity price statistics, households in Germany and Denmark have by far the highest electricity costs, while people in Bulgaria pay the least. However, if you put the costs in relation to the purchasing power standard, Croatia is the place with the most expensive electricity, followed by Romania and Poland. Germany ranks 6th. The country with the cheapest electricity in Europe in relation to the purchasing power is Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Great Britain.

German electricity price – cost of electricity in Germany [2020]

More than half of the power price for household consumers and small businesses in Germany consists of components determined by the state. These include charges for using power grids [25.6 %], levies for financing investment in renewable energy [23.6 %] and for other kinds of taxes [eg. GST 16%].

Renewable energy surcharge [EEG-Umlage 23.6 %]
The renewable energy levy to finance green power investment is added to Germans‘ electricity unit price. The surcharge pays the state-guaranteed price for renewable energy to producers and is 6.88 cents per kWh in 2017. A further increase for 2018 seems likely.

Details: Electricity price Germany: What households pay for power

Part of net income paid for electricity bills [2014]

Residential energy prices in Europe are on a continuous rise since the beginning of 2010, but there are huge differences between the countries regarding the proportion of income households have to pay for their electricity bills.

Households in Denmark and Germany pay by far the highest prices per kilowatt hour, while people in Bulgaria pay the lowest, but when put into relation to purchasing power, Bulgaria is the place with the most expensive electricity followed by Latvia and Sweden. On the other end of the scale, Luxembourg has the cheapest electricity followed by Italy and the Netherlands.

A typical Bulgarian single-person household spends 3% of their monthly income [356€] on electricity bills. The average is 1.9% in Europe. In contrast, a Luxembourgian single-person household pays only 0.7% of their salary, because their average income is the highest in Europe [3,149 €] and energy prices are substandard [18 Cents|kWh].

Energy poverty is a major concern across the EU, where 10% of the population says they are struggling to pay their energy bills. One third of the Bulgarian population [33%] is in arrears with their utility bills.

According to Eurostat many Croatians [30%] and Romanians [29%] are also behind in their bill payments. At the far end of the chart, slightly more than 3% of Luxembourgian and Swedish citizens are affected by energy poverty.

Electricity prices for household consumers are defined as follows: Average national price in Euro per kWh including taxes and levies applicable for the first semester of each year for medium size household consumers (Consumption Band Dc with annual consumption between 2500 and 5000 kWh). Until 2007 the prices are referring to the status on 1st January of each year for medium size consumers (Standard Consumer Dc with annual consumption of 3500 kWh).
Source of all data is Eurostat

Do you have any questions about the electricity prices in Europe?

We’d love to hear what you think about the article or maybe you have a question about something you read. Either way, let us know by leaving a quick comment below.

In Greece if a residential consumer(family of four) consumes in 120 days 0-1600kWh the price is 16.5 cents / kWh, between 1601-2000kWh the price becomes 21 cents/kWh and finally above 2001kWh the price reaches 25.5cents/kWh. An average Greek family consumes in winter months ( November - February) between 2600kWh to 3200kWh. At summer months again especially if you live in cities like Athens and Larisa the average consumption is 2000-2500kWh. So it seems to me that the average price is not 16.5cents/kWh but 25.5cents/kWh because a family of four needs at least more than 2000kWh in 120 days to live decently in their house.
Energy Girl
@Tom thank you for your comment. Source of data is the Eurostat database: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database They collect the electricity prices for domestic consumers and income data as well. Energy poverty information are covered by the Energy poverty report conducted by the European Commission.
What kind of article is this? Bulgarians are unable to pay €10 per month for electricty? While in Portugal average el. bill is €70 and most people earn just €500-€800, which means about 10%, not 1%. It is impossible to have an electricty bill lower than €25 unless one lives in Madeira or the Azores (where there is no need for a/c or even for heating) and does not heat their house, plus heats water with solar power and uses oil lamps instead of electricity lamps. And then Sweden has third costliest electricity along with Bulgaria and Latvia at 18c per kwh? What kind of arithmetics is that? Latvia 16c and Sweden 18c yeat Latvians earn 5 times less than the Swedes. Also, the article never indicates what kind of tariffs are those? Are they for peak hours or for night hoursa or are they night tariffs? Judging by kwh in Portugal at 22c I can see on my bill that is for PEAK HOURS since other times of day and night costs 10c and 16c respectively and I thought that was very expensive.
Energy Girl
Thank you Harry, we're going to publish the new numbers in middle of July. I'll send you a short message. Linda
harry corrigan
Great graphics, when will you publish the 2017 numbers? Regards Harry
This is a comparison of KWH prices in Europe, which are stunning compared to the Morgan Household cost of $.081 per KWh

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