Energy prices have risen recently in the UK, but we don’t often think about how our gas and electricity prices compare to other countries in Europe and around the world. Are UK consumers paying more for their energy than comparable countries? Which countries have cheap energy and low tariffs? We take a look at the differences below (Source).
Electricity – EU15* countries
In terms of domestic electricity prices, including taxes, in 2012 the UK had the fifth lowest prices of the 15 EU15 countries. The pence per kilowatt per hour (kWh) was 13.93, which compared very favourably with countries such as Denmark (24.20 pence per kWh), Germany (21.38 pence per kWh), Italy (18.20 pence per kWh) and Ireland (17.06 pence per kWh). Countries with similar electricity prices included Sweden (14.13 pence per kWh) and Luxembourg (13.21 pence per kWh). The countries with the cheapest electricity were France (11.03 pence per kWh), Greece (11.39 pence per kWh) and Finland (12.30 pence per kWh). Clearly the UK’s electricity prices are towards the lower end of the scale.
Electricity – G7** countries
In comparison to the US and Japan, the UK sits about halfway between them in terms of taxed electricity prices. For 2012, US electricity prices were 7.50 pence per kWh and Japan’s were 17.46 pence per kWh. Overall, the UK had the fourth highest prices (exactly halfway) of the G7 countries.
Electricity – EU28*** countries
The UK’s taxed electricity prices for 2012 were similar to other EU28 countries, such as the Czech Republic (12.55 pence per kWh), Hungary (12.88 pence per kWh), Poland (12.05 pence per kWh), Slovakia (14.49 pence per kWh) and Slovenia (12.21 pence per kWh). Estonia had the cheapest prices at 8.77 pence per kWh.
Gas – EU15 countries
When it comes to domestic gas prices, including taxes, in 2012 the UK had the second lowest prices of the 15 EU15 countries. The price per kilowatt per hour (kWh) was 4.65. Sweden’s gas prices were over double that at 9.90 pence per kWh, while Greece’s were also almost twice the amount at 8.71 pence per kWh. The prices in Denmark (7.77 pence per kWh), Spain (6.72 pence per kWh) and Portugal (6.45 pence per kWh) were also significantly higher. Only Finland had cheaper gas prices, at 3.94 pence per kWh, while Luxembourg had around the same prices at 4.71 pence per kWh.
Gas – G7 countries
In comparison to the US and Canada, the UK has significantly higher gas prices. 2012 taxed prices for the US were 2.22 pence per kWh and for Canada were 2.17 pence per kWh. Overall, the UK had the third lowest prices of the G7 countries.
Gas – EU28 countries
The UK’s taxed gas prices for 2012 were similar to some other EU28 countries, such as Poland (4.42 pence per kWh) and Slovakia (4.32 pence per kWh), notably cheaper than others, such as Slovenia (6.22 pence per kWh) and the Czech Republic (5.53 pence per kWh), and more expensive than Hungary (3.81 pence per kWh).
*EU15 countries are the 15 countries that were members of the European Union before new members joined on May 1st 2004.
**G7 countries are the seven richest developed countries in the world, based on their net wealth. As well as the UK, France, Germany and Italy, they also include the US, Canada and Japan.
***EU28 countries are the full current 28 members of the EU, including several Eastern European countries as well as Cyprus and Malta.