Electricity prices in Ireland fourth highest in EU

An electricity consumer in Ireland is spending an extra €110.88 a year compared to the EU average.

Excluding taxes and charges, electricity prices in Ireland are the most expensive in the EU. 

Irish households and businesses pay one of the highest electricity bills in Europe. Electricity prices in Ireland have been rising constantly in the last three years.

The latest data from Eurostat, the EU Statistical Office, describes Ireland as the fourth most expensive country when it comes to electricity prices, right after Germany, Denmark, and Belgium.

“At 24.23 cent/kWh, prices here are 12.22% above the EU average,” added Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at price comparison and consumer website bonkers.ie. An electricity consumer in Ireland is thus spending an extra €110.88 a year compared to the EU average.

In the first half of 2019, average household electricity prices in the EU rose only slightly compared to the same period last year, standing at 21.59 cent/kWh. In Ireland, households have paid 0.54 cent/kWh more for electricity since the first half of 2018.

Electricity prices in Ireland the highest in the EU  

Electricity in Ireland comes from coal, peat, and gas to a large extent. Yet, all these resources are imported to the country, which makes the final electricity price higher.

On the other hand, Irish consumers do not pay very high taxes on electricity compared to the EU.

“While taxes and environmental levies such as VAT and the PSO levy make up around 20% of the final price paid for electricity by consumers in Ireland, it’s almost 40% on average in Europe,” Cassidy said.

He went on to say Irish consumers pay the highest electricity bills in the EU, in fact, looking just at the net price of electricity charged by suppliers, people in Ireland pay 49.48% more than the EU average is. The net price stands at 20.27 cent/kWh in Ireland while it is 13.56 cent/kWh.

At the same time, Ireland has invested a lot of money into renewable energy, which accounts for 30% of electricity generation. However, to produce electricity from renewable resources is still costlier than from non-renewable ones.

The eighth most expensive gas bills

The same Eurostat data shows consumers in Ireland pay the eighth highest price for gas in the European Union, at just over 8% above the EU average.

“Excluding taxes and levies, this rises to fourth, adding an extra €56.10 to the average annual gas bill compared to the EU average,” Cassidy claimed.

Average gas prices in the EU were stable and stood at 6.32 cent/kWh in the first half of 2019. In Ireland, it was 6.83 cent/kWh in the time period. People in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark pay the highest gas bills in the EU, with Swedish consumers paying almost 12 cent/kWh in early 2019.

Electricity prices in EU countries

Between 2018 and 2019, consumers in Denmark, Portugal, Poland, and Greece experienced the largest decrease in electricity prices, the Eurostat found. For example, household electricity prices in Denmark were reduced by 4.3%.

Conversely, people in the Netherlands, Cyprus, Lithuania and the Czech Republic experienced the highest increase in electricity bills in the studied period across the EU. In the former, households had to pay by 20.3% more.

Households paid the least for electricity in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Lithuania between 2018 and 2019. Consumers in Germany, Denmark, and Belgium were charged the highest electricity prices.

Switch a supplier  

When in Ireland, Cassidy claimed a simple solution on how to avoid high electricity bills is to switch energy suppliers.

“It’s quick and easy to switch and can all be done online in the space of a few minutes and will save the average customer around €400 a year,” he said.

Electricity prices in Ireland can be compared here.

Peter Dlhopolec
Peter Dlhopolec

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