Cyprus recorded the third highest increase in domestic electricity bills, as prices rose by 36 percent in the second half of 2021 compared to last year, according to data released by Eurostat, the EU´s statistical office.
Electricity prices for households in the European Union rose sharply in the second half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, from 21.3 euros per 100 kilowatt hours (kWh) on average to 23.7 euros per 100 kWh, Eurostat´s data showed.
At EU-Member State level, electricity prices increased in all but two countries in the second half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. The largest increases were recorded in Estonia (50 per cent increase), Sweden (49 per cent increase) and Cyprus (36 per cent increase).
According to Eurostat, the recent increases in gross electricity and gas prices are due to a number of factors, including energy prices and supply prices. In particular, 36 per cent of household electricity bills and 30 per cent of gas bills are due to taxes and charges. However, these percentages have not changed significantly compared to last year.
At the start April, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) warned that the impending electricity bills for households are expected to be 16 per cent higher than previous bills, suggesting that a hike in the fuel tariff due to rising global oil prices was the reason for this. Over the past year or so, electricity prices have shot up some 40 per cent – a combination of more expensive fuel prices and pricier emissions allowances.
Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine is expected to force energy prices even higher in the coming months.
As for the reduction in VAT on electrical bills from 19 to 9 per cent – a temporary measure to alleviate pressure on consumers – the EAC said this would be seen in invoices issued in May and June.
The lowest electricity prices for households in euro in the second half of 2021 were recorded in Hungary (€10 per 100 kWh), Bulgaria (€10.9 per 100 kWh) and Croatia (€13.1 per 100 kWh).
Concerning the cost of gas, prices increased in 20 out of 24 countries for which data are available (in Cyprus there is no gas supply for consumers).
Gas prices also increased between the second half of 2020 and the second half of 2021 in 20 of the 24 EU Member States that report natural gas prices in the household sector (Cyprus is not included in the data as there is no natural gas provision for households).
The largest increases in household gas prices in national currencies), were observed in Bulgaria (103 per cent) followed by Greece (96 per cent) and Estonia (83 per cent). The only decreases in price were recorded in Slovakia (12 per cent), Czechia (5 per cent) and Portugal (1 per cent).
Expressed in euro, average household gas prices in the second half of 2021 were lowest in Hungary (€3.1 per 100 kWh), Croatia (€4.0) and Lithuania (€4.1) and highest in Sweden (€18.6), Denmark (€12.5), the Netherlands (€11.0) and Spain (€10.8).
The largest increases in gas prices for households were recorded in Bulgaria (103 per cent increase), Greece (96 per cent increase) and Estonia (83 per cent increase). The only countries where a decrease was recorded were Slovakia (decrease of 12 per cent), the Czech Republic (decrease of 5 per cent) and Portugal (decrease of 1 per cent).
Meanwhile, households in the north of Cyprus have been dealing with power cuts and exorbitantly high electricity bills in March after the Turkish Cypriot administration hiked the price of electricity more than 200 per cent on average.
In mid-April, after receiving electricity bills for the month of March, demonstrators gathered in front of the building of the Turkish Cypriot electricity authority KIB-TEK and threw eggs in protest. People posted photos of their electricity bills on social media questioning how, in a place where the minimum wage is 6,000 Turkish liras (€373), they could pay electricity bills of 2,000-3,000 TL (€124-187).