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|
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 
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 
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.
Part of net income paid for electricity bills 
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.
Source of all data is Eurostat
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