Irish electricity prices fourth most expensive in Europe
Eurostat figures reveal gas prices also up more than 7%
The cost of energy in Ireland is among the highest in Europe, according to the latest statistics from Eurostat.
The cost of electricity was up 5.1% in the second half of 2013, compared to an average increase of 2.8% across the European Union.
This means electricity prices rose at twice the rate of the rest of the EU, making Ireland the fourth most expensive of all EU countries.
Gas prices were also up by 7.4%, compared to an EU average rise of 1%, according to the official statistics office for the EU.
The year previously (2011-2012) saw electricity prices increase by 6% and gas prices rise by 8.2% on average, so the latest data still represents a fall in overall prices.
However, the cost of household energy in Ireland remains higher than in many other parts of the EU.
The cost of electricity
Electricity prices in Ireland cost €24.1 per 100kWh, a figure that is dwarfed by only Denmark, Germany and Cyprus.
The EU average price is €20.1 per 100 kWh while the lowest costs are found in Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.
Across the EU, electricity price changes ranged from an increase of 22% in Estonia, to a decrease of 15% in Cyprus.
The cost of gas
In terms of gas prices, customers in Ireland pay just above the EU average of €7.1 per 100 kWh, although this is considerably lower than the most expensive costs seen in Sweden and Denmark.
Gas prices in both of those countries are at least €11 per 100 kWh while the cheapest prices are found in Romania and Hungary, where gas costs €3.1 and €4.2 per 100 kWh respectively.
The Irish price of €7.2 per 100 kWh is however 22% higher than the cost of gas in the UK.
Hungary saw the largest fall in gas prices – a drop of 15% while prices rose by 10% in Romania between the second half of 2012 and the second half of 2013.
Variations when ‘purchasing power’ is considered
The figures were also adjusted by Eurostat to consider ‘purchasing power standards’ (PPS) which consider general differences in the cost of living between EU member states.
When this was taken into consideration, Irish electricity prices were 10% above the average cost while gas prices were slightly cheaper.
The average PPS price of €6.7 was below the EU average of €7.1, making a more affordable household option in Ireland than in many parts of the EU.
For the purposes of the Eurostat study, gas prices refer to households with an annual consumption of between 5,600 and 56,000 kWh of gas and include taxes.
Meanwhile, the electricity prices refer to households with an annual consumption of between 2,500 and 5,000 and also include taxes.