EUROPE: Cyprus scorched by hikes in electricity bills

Cyprus registered Europe’s highest increase in annual electricity prices in the second half of 2018, official data shows.

Across the EU, the biggest spike in household electricity prices in national currency between from the last six months of 2017 and the second half of 2018 was registered in Cyprus (+19.6%), followed by Spain (+13.8%), the Netherlands (+9.7%), the United Kingdom (+8.6%), Ireland (+7.8%) and Estonia (+7.5%).

Decreases were observed in only four countries: Latvia (-4.5%) followed by Poland (-2.5%), Germany (-1.6%) and Lithuania (-0.9%). In Greece the increase was 1.6%, at the low end of the spectrum.

On average, household electricity prices in the EU increased to Euros 21.1 per 100 kWh (+3.5%), between the second half of 2017 and the second half of 2018.

Nevertheless, according to Eurostat, the average EU household electricity price was only Euros 0.1 per 100 kWh higher than in the second half of 2015, the former peak in the last 10 years.

Household electricity prices in the second half of 2018 ranged from Euros 10 per 100 kWh in Bulgaria to around Euros 30 per 100 kWh in Denmark, Germany and Belgium.

Household gas prices increased by 5.7% on average in the EU between 2017 and 2018 to Euros 6.7 per 100 kWh. This is still Euros 0.5 per 100 kWh lower than in the second half of 2014, the peak of gas prices in the last 10 years.

Among Member States, household gas prices in the second half of 2018 ranged from below Euros 4 per 100 kWh in Hungary, Romania and Croatia to around Euros 9 per 100 kWh in the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark and Italy and more than Euros 12 per 100 kWh in Sweden.

Taxes and levies in the EU made up on average over a third (37%) of the electricity price charged to households in the second half of 2018, and about a quarter (27%) of the gas price.

Expressed in euro, average household electricity prices in the second half of 2018 were lowest in Bulgaria (Euros 10.1 per 100 kWh), Lithuania (Euros 11.0) and Hungary (Euros 11.2) and highest in Denmark (Euros 31.2), Germany (Euros 30.0) and Belgium (Euros 29.4). The average electricity price in the EU was Euros 21.1 per 100 kWh.

In Greece average household electricity prices stood at Euros 16.5 and in Cyprus at Euros 21.8.

Expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS), a common reference eliminating general price level differences between countries, it can be seen that the lowest household electricity prices were found in Finland (13.7 PPS per 100 kWh) and Luxembourg (13.8), followed by the Netherlands (15.2), Malta (15.7), France (16.4), Sweden (16.5) and Lithuania (17.3).

The highest prices expressed in PPS were registered in Portugal (28.2), Germany (28.0), Spain (27.4), Belgium (26.6), Romania (26.3), Cyprus (24.5) and Poland (24.3).

Meanwhile, the share of taxes and levies in total household electricity prices varied significantly between Member States, ranging from two-thirds in Denmark (64%) and over half in Portugal (55%) and Germany (54%) to only 6% in Malta.

On average in the EU, taxes and levies accounted for more than a third (37%) of household electricity prices in the second half of 2018. In Cyprus taxes and levies correspond to 20% of the price and in Greece to 32% of the price.

Source: The Financial Mirror