Electricity costs are on a steady upward trend in almost all of Europe for many years now. The average values vary significantly across the European countries, ranging from 9.97 cents per kilowatt hour in Bulgaria to 30.43 cents in Germany.
How much does electricity cost in Europe?
Highest household electricity prices in Europe in 2020 were recorded in Germany [ 30 cents|kWh] and lowest in Bulgaria [10 cents|kWh]
Industry electricity prices in Europe 2020 were highest in Germany [EUR 0.18 per kWh] and lowest in Denmark [EUR 0.06 per kWh]
Electricity prices for households fell in 16 countries during the first six months of 2020 compared to 2019.
In 2020, the average residential consumer’s electricity price in Europe was 21.26 cents per kilowatt hour [cents|kWh], an increase of 13% over the average price of 18.8 cents|kWh 10 years ago. The highest rise in cost within this period has been recorded in the UK [39%] and Greece [36%]. The largest decreases in electricity prices for households were recorded in Hungary [-33%] and Norway [-28%].
Between 2019 and 2020, electricity prices rose particularly in Lithuania [+ 13.6%] and Poland [+ 12.9%] due to an increase in energy costs.
The biggest price fall by percentage was recorded in the Netherlands [-31.0 %] mainly due to tax reduction. Falling energy costs were the main driver of lower prices in Latvia, Slovenia, and Sweden.
European countries with the highest electricity prices
The highest residential electricity prices within Europe are paid in Germany [30.34 cents] and Denmark [28.33] for many years in a row now. The price per kilowatt hour is more than three times higher than in Bulgaria [9.97 cents]. Belgium [27.92 cents] and Ireland [24.13 cents] are competing for the 3rd and 4th position in the electricity price ranking. Spain follows in fifth place with 22.39 cents per kilowatt hour.
Why are electricity prices so different in Europe?
The energy prices in the EU depend on a range of factors, including the geopolitical location, taxation, network charges or environmental protection costs. The prices for electricity procurement and supply [network costs] have remained stable in Europe over the past 10 years. The average rose from 12.3 cents per kWh in 2010 to currently 12.7 cents.
Taxes and levies make the biggest difference. Their share climbed steadily, from 25.6% in 2011 to 40,3% in 2020. These values vary greatly from one country to another, with rates as high as 66% in Denmark and 53% in Germany. The lowest taxes [3.4%] are paid in the Netherlands due to a refund policy. Malta is also at the lower end of the tax scale, paying only a tax premium of 6%.
The VAT average in the EU is 15.5 % of the total price and ranges from 4.8 % in Malta to 21.2 % in Hungary.
Map: Electricity prices for household consumers in Europe including taxes and levies
Electricity Price by Country in Europe 2020
|Country||electricity price cents | kWh|
Country in Europe with cheapest electricity price
Bulgaria [EUR 0.096 per kWh] and Hungary [EUR 0.109 per kWh] recorded the lowest electricity prices in 2020 if you only look at the numbers. If the energy costs are put in relation to the consumers income, Luxembourg is the European country with the cheapest electricity.
Country List: Electricity prices in Europe 2020
Electricity prices for Industry consumers in Europe 2020
In Europe, residential consumer prices for electricity have long exceeded the industrial prices, and the gap has even become bigger in recent years. For Industry or so called „non-household consumers“ with a power consumption between 500 and 2 000 Megawatthours [MWh] per year electricity prices were the highest in Germany [17.81 cent per kWh] and Italy [15.03 cent]. The lowest price was paid in Sweden [6.45 cent) and Denmark [6.12 cent]. The EU-27 average price was 12.54 cent per kWh.
Table: European Electricity prices 10 Years 2011 – 2020
|Country / Year||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020|
|Electricity prices in Austria||19,9 ct||19,8 ct||20,8 ct||20,2 ct||20,1 ct||20,3 ct||19,5 ct||19,7 ct||20,3 ct||21,27 ct|
|Electricity prices Belgium||21,4 ct||23,3 ct||21,7 ct||21,0 ct||21,3 ct||25,4 ct||28,6 ct||28,2 ct||28,4 ct||21,02 ct|
|Electricity prices Bulgaria||8,3 ct||8,5 ct||9,2 ct||8,3 ct||9,4 ct||9,6 ct||9,6 ct||9,8 ct||10,0 ct||27,92 ct|
|Electricity prices in Croatia||11,4 ct||12,1 ct||13,7 ct||13,1 ct||13,2 ct||13,1 ct||12,0 ct||13,1 ct||13,2 ct||9,97 ct|
|Electricity prices Cyprus||20,5 ct||27,8 ct||27,6 ct||22,9 ct||19,6 ct||15,3 ct||18,6 ct||18,9 ct||22,0 ct||13,01 ct|
|Electricity prices Czechia||16,6 ct||16,6 ct||16,8 ct||13,9 ct||13,9 ct||14,2 ct||14,4 ct||15,7 ct||17,5 ct||21,33 ct|
|Electricity prices Denmark||29,1 ct||30,0 ct||30,0 ct||30,4 ct||30,7 ct||30,9 ct||30,5 ct||31,3 ct||29,8 ct||18,41 ct|
|Electricity prices in Estonia||9,7 ct||11,0 ct||13,5 ct||13,1 ct||13,0 ct||12,1 ct||12,1 ct||13,5 ct||13,6 ct||28,33 ct|
|EU electricity prices||18,0 ct||18,8 ct||20,0 ct||20,4 ct||20,9 ct||20,4 ct||20,3 ct||20,6 ct||21,5 ct||21,26 ct|
|Electricity prices Finland||15,4 ct||15,5 ct||15,8 ct||15,6 ct||15,5 ct||15,4 ct||15,8 ct||16,1 ct||17,3 ct||12,36 ct|
|Electricity prices France||13,8 ct||13,9 ct||15,2 ct||15,9 ct||16,8 ct||16,9 ct||17,0 ct||17,5 ct||17,8 ct||17,40 ct|
|Electricity prices in Germany||25,3 ct||26,0 ct||29,2 ct||29,8 ct||29,5 ct||29,7 ct||30,5 ct||29,9 ct||30,9 ct||18,99 ct|
|Electricity prices Greece||12,5 ct||13,9 ct||15,6 ct||17,7 ct||17,7 ct||17,2 ct||17,1 ct||16,7 ct||16,0 ct||30,34 ct|
|Electricity prices in Hungary||16,8 ct||15,5 ct||14,0 ct||12,0 ct||11,3 ct||11,1 ct||11,3 ct||11,2 ct||11,2 ct||16,81 ct|
|Electricity prices Ireland||19,0 ct||21,6 ct||23,0 ct||24,1 ct||24,3 ct||23,2 ct||23,1 ct||23,7 ct||24,2 ct||10,31 ct|
|Electricity prices Italy||19,9 ct||21,3 ct||22,9 ct||24,5 ct||24,5 ct||23,4 ct||21,3 ct||20,7 ct||23,0 ct||24,13 ct|
|Electricity prices in Latvia||11,7 ct||13,8 ct||13,8 ct||13,7 ct||16,4 ct||16,3 ct||15,9 ct||15,3 ct||16,3 ct||22,26 ct|
|Electricity prices Lithuania||12,1 ct||12,6 ct||13,7 ct||13,3 ct||12,6 ct||12,3 ct||11,2 ct||11,0 ct||12,6 ct||14,20 ct|
|Electricity prices in Luxembourg||16,8 ct||17,0 ct||16,7 ct||17,4 ct||17,7 ct||17,0 ct||16,2 ct||16,7 ct||18,0 ct||14,26 ct|
|Electricity prices in Malta||16,5 ct||16,7 ct||16,6 ct||14,7 ct||12,6 ct||12,6 ct||13,3 ct||12,9 ct||12,9 ct||19,86 ct|
|Electricity prices in the Netherlands||18,0 ct||18,5 ct||19,0 ct||18,4 ct||19,9 ct||16,2 ct||15,6 ct||17,1 ct||20,7 ct||12,84 ct|
|Electricity prices Norway||21,3 ct||18,8 ct||19,1 ct||16,5 ct||16,1 ct||15,2 ct||16,4 ct||17,5 ct||18,7 ct||14,27 ct|
|Electricity prices in Poland||14,7 ct||14,2 ct||14,8 ct||14,2 ct||14,4 ct||13,3 ct||14,5 ct||14,1 ct||13,4 ct||13,55 ct|
|Electricity prices Portugal||16,5 ct||19,9 ct||20,8 ct||21,8 ct||22,8 ct||23,5 ct||22,8 ct||22,5 ct||21,5 ct||14,75 ct|
|Electricity prices Romania||10,8 ct||10,5 ct||13,2 ct||12,9 ct||13,0 ct||12,6 ct||12,0 ct||13,3 ct||13,6 ct||21,20 ct|
|Electricity prices in Slovakia||16,8 ct||17,2 ct||17,0 ct||15,1 ct||15,1 ct||14,2 ct||14,4 ct||15,7 ct||15,8 ct||14,59 ct|
|Electricity prices Slovenia||14,4 ct||15,4 ct||16,1 ct||16,3 ct||15,9 ct||16,2 ct||16,1 ct||16,1 ct||16,3 ct||16,86 ct|
|Electricity prices Spain||19,8 ct||21,9 ct||22,3 ct||21,7 ct||23,1 ct||21,9 ct||23,0 ct||23,8 ct||24,0 ct||14,48 ct|
|Electricity prices Sweden||20,9 ct||20,3 ct||21,0 ct||19,7 ct||18,5 ct||18,9 ct||19,4 ct||18,9 ct||20,6 ct||22,39 ct|
|UK electricity prices||14,3 ct||16,8 ct||17,4 ct||19,2 ct||21,3 ct||19,5 ct||17,7 ct||18,9 ct||21,2 ct||18,26 ct|
German electricity price – cost of electricity in Germany 
More than half of the power price for household consumers and small businesses in Germany consists of components determined by the state. These include charges for using power grids [25.1 %], levies for financing investment in renewable energy [21.5 %] and for other kinds of taxes [eg. GST 19%].
Renewable energy levy [EEG-Umlage 21.5 %]
The renewable energy levy to finance green power investment is added to Germans‘ electricity unit price. The surcharge pays the state-guaranteed price for renewable energy to producers and was 6.76 cents per kWh in 2020. There is no further increase expected. The the EEG surcharge is limited to 6.5 cents per kilowatt in 2021 and 6 cents in 2022 funded with subsidies from the federal budget.
European energy prices in relation to the purchasing power 
Electricity prices have risen in almost all European countries since 2010. But in addition to the price per kilowatt hour, there are also significant differences in the amount of money available that people can spend. To enable a better European comparison, there is the fictitious currency PPS, the purchasing power standard. The gross domestic product per capita of the country is converted into purchasing power standards [PPS] taking other factors into account.
According to European electricity price statistics, households in Germany and Denmark have by far the highest electricity costs, while people in Bulgaria pay the least. However, if you put the costs in relation to the purchasing power standard, Croatia is the place with the most expensive electricity, followed by Romania and Poland. Germany ranks 6th. The country with the cheapest electricity in Europe in relation to the purchasing power is Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Great Britain.
Part of net income paid for electricity bills 
Residential energy prices in Europe are on a continuous rise since the beginning of 2010, but there are huge differences between the countries regarding the proportion of income households have to pay for their electricity bills.
Households in Denmark and Germany pay by far the highest prices per kilowatt hour, while people in Bulgaria pay the lowest, but when put into relation to purchasing power, Bulgaria is the place with the most expensive electricity followed by Latvia and Sweden. On the other end of the scale, Luxembourg has the cheapest electricity followed by Italy and the Netherlands.
A typical Bulgarian single-person household spends 3% of their monthly income [356€] on electricity bills. The average is 1.9% in Europe. In contrast, a Luxembourgian single-person household pays only 0.7% of their salary, because their average income is the highest in Europe [3,149 €] and energy prices are substandard [18 Cents|kWh].
Energy poverty is a major concern across the EU, where 10% of the population says they are struggling to pay their energy bills. One third of the Bulgarian population [33%] is in arrears with their utility bills.
According to Eurostat many Croatians [30%] and Romanians [29%] are also behind in their bill payments. At the far end of the chart, slightly more than 3% of Luxembourgian and Swedish citizens are affected by energy poverty.
Source of all data is Eurostat
Electricity Price by Country in Europe 2019 and 2020
|Country||2019||2020||Difference in %|
Source of all data is Eurostat
Do you have any questions about the electricity prices in Europe?
We’d love to hear what you think about the article or maybe you have a question about something you read. Either way, let us know by leaving a quick comment below.