Something many householders may have suspected seems to have been confirmed. Ireland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe to buy electricity according to a new report.
In the report released by Eurostat yesterday, Ireland ranked 4th most expensive amongst the Euro 28 countries for electricity prices. The only countries more expensive than Ireland were Denmark, Germany and Cyprus.
The report, which shows price movements from the second half of 2013 compared to the second half of 2012, indicates that energy prices have been increasing in most countries across Europe with hikes in excess of 20% in Greece and Estonia.
Average household electricity prices in Ireland increased by 5.1% during the period to 24.1 cent per kWh (unit).
Across the water in the United Kingdom, prices increased by 6.7% to 18 cent per kWh placing our nearest neighbours in 12th place, and below the EU average.
The Eurostat report takes an interesting approach to electricity price statistics. It takes into account all taxes, standing charges, unit prices and levies and calculates what a unit of electricity really costs for an ordinary household to use. In the case of Ireland, the Eurostat report says that we pay 24.1 cent per unit... which seems quite high.
There may be a bit of a flaw in the Eurostat report though… In Ireland we use an average of around 5,300 kWh of electricity per household per year. The Eurostat report is based on a household with an annual consumption of between 2,500 and 5,000 kWh. Using lower consumption makes our electricity look a bit more expensive than it actually is. Granted, we do use a lot of leccy, but we’re compensating for our weather and our small gas network right?
Really, we should rank around the EU area average for electricity prices, but because of our high consumption, we look like we’re paying more than we are.
Over in the UK household consumption averages around 3,300 kWh which is 38% less than us, so their Eurostat figures are probably correct. But then they use 22% more gas than we do… which may account for their lower electricity consumption… and that could get us into a whole other discussion altogether...