Revealed: Where Ireland ranks on electricity bills compared to the EU average

Households in this country are paying €250 more for electricity each year compared to the EU average.

Electricity prices in Ireland are 26% above the EU average and are the fourth most expensive in the bloc.

Only Germany, Denmark and Belgium are more expensive, Eurostat figures show.

This means that consumers here are paying €254 more per year for their electricity than the average across Europe, according to Bonkers.ie calculations based on the Eurostat report.

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However, the report does not capture the full scope of the energy crisis, as the figures were compiled well before war broke out in Ukraine and before many suppliers raised their prices again earlier this year.

Households here face paying €800 a year more in electricity costs due to recent price rises. The high cost of electricity comes despite the fact that there are about a dozen providers in the residential market.

The Eurostat report also shows that Ireland is the eighth most expensive country for residential gas in the EU. However, gas prices are practically equal to the EU average, according to the European statistics agency.

Bonkers.ie’s Daragh Cassidy said electricity costs 29.74 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in Ireland, once VAT and levies are included. The average across the EU is 23.69 cents per kWh.

Cassidy said: “Nothing is really cheap in Ireland. Whether it’s food, drink, transport or rent, the price of everything here seems to be above the EU average.

“And according to the latest figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, we can also add electricity to the list.”

Prices are lower in Hungary, Bulgaria and Croatia.

Cassidy said taxes here were not the main reason energy prices are higher than the EU average.

“Believe it or not, energy is one of the few products on which Irish consumers pay relatively low taxes compared to the EU average,” he said.

Government taxes and charges such as VAT and OSP (Public Service Obligation) represent around 20% of the final price paid by consumers in this country. This compares to about 36% on average in Europe, Cassidy said.

Excluding government taxes and charges means the prices charged by electricity providers here are the most expensive in the EU.

Cassidy said the net price of electricity was 60% above the EU average, once taxes and fees are subtracted.

“This would suggest that there are huge inefficiencies in electricity generation in Ireland, which, frankly, should be investigated by the Government and the CRU. [the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities],” he said.

The CRU said there were several reasons why electricity is expensive in this country. There is a lack of indigenous fuels available for generation compared to other countries.

Ireland is on the periphery of Europe, which adds to gas costs, and there are high investment costs for the grid to power a dispersed population, and taxes. The CRU said that when prices are high, it’s even more important to make sure you’re on the best value deal available.

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