The Increasing Cost of Gas and Electricity Across Europe
There’s no ignoring the high price of heating your home in the UK, but how do we compare to the rest of Europe? This report has investigated the estimated costs of both electricity and gas per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in the UK and 23 European countries to see which of these countries has been hit the hardest by energy price hikes, and what you can do to keep down the cost of heating your home.
In the UK, the energy price cap is designed to protect consumers from short-term changes in prices. It is currently updated every six months, however, Ofcom is considering reducing this to three. The most recent price cap has seen an increase in UK energy bills of 54%, a record-breaking increase. We wanted to investigate just how much energy prices in the UK and across the EU have increased over the last year and how they compare.
Countries Seeing the Largest Price Increases in Gas
While gas tends to cost significantly less per kWh than electricity, many households in the UK use significantly more gas than electricity. This usually leads to similar monthly bills for both gas and electricity.
The top five countries that have seen the largest increase in gas prices have seen their gas prices more than tripled since the start of 2021.
Jan - June 2021 - 4.1p per kWh
February 2022 - 13.7p per kWh
Increase - 234.1%
Belgium has seen an astounding 234.1% increase in gas prices since June last year, now paying 13.7p per kWh for their gas.
Jan - June 2021 - 3.2p per kWh
February 2022 - 10.4p per kWh
Increase - 225%
Bulgaria has seen a massive 225% increase in gas prices, going from just 3.2p per kWh in June 2021 to 10.4p per kWh in February 2022.
Jan - June 2021 - 5.6p per kWh
February 2022 - 17.81p per kWh
Increase - 218%
At the beginning of 2021, Germany’s gas price was around 5.6p per kWh. As of February 2022, Germany now pays an estimated 17.81p per kWh, a 218% increase.
4. United Kingdom
Jan - June 2021 - 3.5p per kWh
February 2022 - 10.82p per kWh
Increase - 209.1%
The UK has seen a 209.1% increase in gas prices. Of the 24 countries on this list, the UK has seen the fourth largest increase in gas prices.
Jan - June 2021 - 5.5p per kWh
February 2022 - 16.9p per kWh
Increase - 207.3%
Going from 5.5p per kWh to 16.9p per kWh, Austria has seen the fifth-highest increase in gas prices over the last year at 207.3%.
Countries Seeing the Largest Price Increase in Electricity
Electricity has not seen as large an increase in prices as gas has over the last year, with the highest increase in prices across our 24 countries standing at 129.1% (still a very large increase).
With both gas and electricity prices on the rise, many consumers throughout Europe are looking for ways to save energy and reduce their energy bills.
Underfloor heating technology is a much more efficient means of heating your home, and the market for such technology is expected to grow significantly in Europe as more consumers switch to this method of home heating.
In residential settings, underfloor heating is already widely deployed in kitchen and bathroom spaces across Europe. With the EU pursuing sustainable advances, as well as the continued government focus on green construction development, uptake of underfloor heating will likely become commonplace throughout most EU countries.
1. United Kingdom
Jan - June 2021 - 19.26p per kWh
February 2022 - 44.13p per kWh
Increase - 129.1%
The United Kingdom has seen the largest increase in electricity between June 2021 and February 2022, a whopping 129.1% increase.
2. Czech Republic
Jan - June 2021 - 15.65p per kWh
February 2022 - 34.68p per kWh
Increase - 121.6%
The Czech Republic saw the second-largest increase in electricity prices with an increase of 121.6%.
Jan - June 2021 - 11.12p per kWh
February 2022 - 23.18p per kWh
Increase - 108.5%
The Netherlands is the last country on this list that saw its electricity prices more than double over the last year, seeing an increase of 108.5%.
Jan - June 2021 - 19.62p per kWh
February 2022 - 38.2p per kWh
Italy saw a 94.7% increase in electricity prices, the fourth-highest seen across these 24 countries.
Jan - June 2021 - 23.47p per kWh
February 2022 - 43.25p per kWh
Increase - 84.3%
Rounding off our top five countries that have seen the biggest increases in electricity costs is Belgium, with an increase of 84.3%.
The Best Ways to Save Money Warming Your Home
Underfloor heating is much cheaper than conventional methods of heating your home. Underfloor heating generally operates at a lower temperature than most radiators, however, is capable of achieving the same level of warmth and comfort throughout a home. It is estimated that water-based systems are around 25% more efficient than radiators and 40% more efficient when running from a heat pump.
Your thermostat controls temperature by communicating with your boiler. When your house hits the temperature you set, your boiler will go off until the temperature drops below it again. Old thermostats often see a 3-5°C delay in your boiler switching on again. Your boiler will then need to heat your house for longer to get back up to your set temperature, therefore using more energy. Modern thermostats help prevent this.
Unplug energy vampires. Energy vampires are appliances and technology that drain electricity when they’re not being used. Anything that sits on standby is likely using energy that you don’t need to use – chargers, laptops, televisions, games consoles - even the kettle is guilty.
Stop draughts. It’s worth identifying the areas in your house where draughts are causing issues, for example, windows, doors, and fireplaces.
Data for the cost of gas and electricity in 2022 was taken from the Household Energy Price Index as the end-user electricity price for the relevant capital city. Data for 2021 gas and electricity costs were taken from National World.
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