Irish pay more for electricity, less for gas

Irish consumers pay more for their electricity than most other Europeans, but enjoy cheaper gas than the average EU household.

Figures released yesterday by the statistical office Eurostat, show domestic electricity prices in the EU rose by 6.6% and gas prices by 10.3% between the second half of 2011 and the second half of 2012. The increases followed similar rises the previous year.

Irish consumers now pay €22.90 per 100kWh of electricity, as against the EU average of €19.70.

Consumers in Britain and the North pay €17.90.

Irish electricity prices rose by 9.7% between the second half of 2011 and the second half of 2012, an increase that was more than 50% higher than the average EU price rise over the same period.

Irish households proportionately get better value for gas, paying €6.70 per 100kWh as against the EU average of €7.90. However, gas in Britain and Northern Ireland is even cheaper, at an equivalent of €5.80 per 100kWh. Irish gas prices rose by 8.7% between the second half of 2011 and the second half of 2012 while the average increase in the EU overall was 10.3%.

Overall, changes in electricity prices ranged from a fall of 5% in Sweden to an increase of 21% in Cyprus.

The highest increases in household electricity prices in national currency were registered in Cyprus, Greece (+15%), Italy (+11%), Ireland and Portugal (both +10%), Bulgaria, Spain and Poland (all +9%).

Decreases were observed in Sweden (-5%), Hungary (-2%) and Finland (-1%), while prices remained stable in Denmark and Malta.

Expressed in euro, average household electricity prices in the second half of 2012 were lowest in Bulgaria (€9.60 per 100kWh), Romania (€10.80) and Estonia (€11.20), and highest in Denmark (€29.70), Cyprus (€29.10), Germany (€26.80) and Italy (€23).

Change in gas prices ranged from a fall of 8% in Slovenia to a rise of 21% in Latvia. Between the second half of 2011 and the second half of 2012, the highest increases in household gas prices in national currency were observed in Latvia, Estonia (+19%) and Bulgaria (+18%). Prices in Belgium, Denmark and Slovakia remained stable or nearly stable.

Average household gas prices in the second half of 2012 were lowest in Romania (€2.70 per 100kWh), Slovakia (€5.10) and Estonia (€5.20), and highest in Sweden (€12.70), Denmark (€10.80) and Greece (€10.20). The average gas price in the EU27 was €7.20 per 100kWh.

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