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Electricity Prices Around the World: A Comparison

Electricity Prices Around the World: A Comparison

It's no secret that energy prices are rising. For some countries, energy prices hit record highs in 2022, and the Energy Support Scheme, which provides support with energy bills for businesses and organisations, was extended until July 2023 in the UK.

With the topic of electricity and energy, in general, being talked about constantly in the news and within society, many people are understandably worried - especially with the price increasing again by another 20% in April. In response, more and more are turning toward energy-efficient heating solutions for their homes and businesses.

While many countries have been affected by the price hike, the UK has been particularly exposed. This is due to several reasons, from the post-Covid economy, to the invasion of Ukraine, all leading to a lowered gas supply into Europe. Consequently resulting in the prices rising for the wholesalers and the consumers. With many UK houses being poorly insulated and heavily reliant on gas boilers and power stations, the UK is feeling the pinch more than most.

But just how much more are electricity prices here compared to the rest of the world? The Underfloor Heating Store has created an interactive map to demonstrate how much a kilowatt of energy costs in 194 countries and what the cost of running a small, medium-sized or large household is.

This way, we can compare the cost of energy in different countries and continents to understand where the cheapest and most expensive energy prices are.

Understanding and Using the Interactive Map

The interactive map is a visual representation of the data collected from 194 countries. Alongside collecting data for the cost of a kilowatt in each of these countries, we also collected data to understand how much a small, medium and large household would spend annually on electricity.

To use the map, hover over a country, and you'll see a breakdown of the cost of energy usage in each country.

We've also listed the countries from cheapest to most expensive. So, the number alongside the country's name on the map depicts where it stands on the scale (with #1 being the cheapest cost per kWh and #194 being the most expensive cost per kWh).

The typical energy use for each household size is as follows:

  • Small household (flat or 1-bedroom house with 1-2 people): 1800 kWh.
  • Medium household (2-3 bedroom house with 2-3 people): 2900 kWh.
  • Large household (4+ bedroom house with 4-5 people): 4300 kWh.


Using these figures and the cost of a single kilowatt, we calculated the cost of annual energy usage.

Why is Some Data Missing?

You may notice some countries are missing from the map. This is because there is insufficient information about their energy consumption available. So we were unable to include them. The missing countries include:

  • Greenland
  • Vatican City
  • Eritrea
  • Kosovo
  • North Korea
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • South Sudan

The Five Countries with the Most Expensive Energy in the World

The Five Countries with the Most Expensive Energy in the World

The top five countries with the most expensive energy, based on the cost per kilowatt, are:

  1. Solomon Islands
  2. Vanuatu
  3. Benin
  4. Denmark
  5. Germany

The annual energy cost for a small household in the Solomon Islands is a huge £1008, while the cost for a large household is around £2408. With an average annual income of £1,089.57, 149% of their paycheck is spent on energy per year. The reason why energy prices are so astronomically high on the Solomon Islands could be down to the fact that they rely on diesel for their power generation and have inefficient ways of transporting and distributing their energy.

On the slightly lower end of the spectrum, the annual cost of energy for a small household in Germany is approximately £775.39, while the cost for a large household is around £1852.31. In 2021, Germany was heavily reliant on Russian gas, with 55% of Germany's gas coming from Russia, hence the reason why their prices skyrocketed. Because natural gas is also used to generate electricity in Germany, they're required to buy more to prevent mass power outages, increasing the cost for the consumer.

The Five Countries with the Cheapest Electricity Prices in the World

The Five Countries with the Cheapest Electricity Prices in the World

The top five countries with the least expensive energy, based on the cost per kilowatt, are:

  1. Lebanon
  2. Libya
  3. Iran
  4. Zimbabwe
  5. Ethiopia

Lebanon came out on top, with small households paying just £2.99 annually for energy, while larger households pay £7.14 per year. With an annual average income of £7,430.80, those living in Lebanon spend 0% of their paycheck on energy. The reason why the cost is so low is due to their great crude oil and natural gas production.

Ethiopia is another country with an abundance of renewable energy resources, making it cheaper than most other countries. Small households spend approximately £8.96 on energy per year, while larger, medium households only spend £21.41.

Top Five Countries with the Highest Spend on Energy

Along with collecting data on the average price of running a household around the world, we also uncovered the average annual salary in each country. With this information, we were then able to calculate a percentage of how much the average salary is spent on energy and depict which countries spent the most and least of their salary on this expense.

The countries found to have spent the most of their annual salary on energy are:

  1. Benin
  2. Solomon Islands
  3. Vanuatu
  4. Liberia
  5. Rwanda

Despite the Solomon Islands coming out on top for the most expensive energy prices, as Benin is a lower-earning country, they end up spending the most from their annual income. With an average annual income of £807.68 and the cost per kilowatt being £0.46, 165% of their income goes on energy bills.

Top Five Countries with the Lowest Spend on Energy

In contrast, the top five countries with the lowest spending on energy per year are:

  1. Lebanon
  2. Libya
  3. Kuwait
  4. Oman
  5. Qatar

As the country with the most renewable energy source, therefore paying a minuscule amount per year, it's no surprise that Lebanon also spends the least from their paycheck. Libya, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar also all spend less than one percent of their annual paycheck on energy.

Average Cost of Electricity Per Continent

Average Cost of Electricity Per Continent

Overall, the cheapest energy prices were found to be in Asia, with the average cost of a kilowatt being £0.0615. This means that medium-sized households are spending approximately £178.24 annually - just 5% of their yearly income.

Oceania has the most expensive energy of all the continents, with an average of £0.26 per kilowatt. So, medium-sized households will be spending around £768.23 annually, which is a huge 38% of their yearly income spent on energy alone.

Europe came in as a close second for the most expensive energy with an average of £0.23 per kilowatt. However, this takes away just 6% of the average yearly salary, while Africa, where the cost of energy is £0.10 per kilowatt, is spending an average of 29% of their income.

Energy Prices in the UK

In the UK, we're unfortunately experiencing life as one of the world's most expensive energy countries. While we may not be in the top five most expensive countries out of 194 countries, we're sitting at the 188th most expensive.

The price of a kilowatt in the UK is £0.39, almost double the European average of £0.23.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, our energy prices are so high because the demand for gas increased after the pandemic and couldn't be met due to a supply shortage. Prices rose in 2021, and after Russia invaded Ukraine, they increased further. Since electricity prices are directly linked to gas prices, they also soared.

Global Electricity Prices Summary

To summarise, our research concluded that the country with the most expensive energy prices is the Solomon Islands, with energy costing £0.56 per kilowatt, meaning 149% of their paycheck is spent on energy per year. In contrast, the country with the cheapest energy prices is Lebanon, with smaller households paying just £2.99 per year.

Asia was the continent with the cheapest energy bills overall, where, on average, people spend around 5% of their yearly income on energy. In comparison, Oceania was the most expensive, with people spending 38% of their annual salary on energy.

How to Save on Electricity No Matter Where you Live

With spring and summer on the way, the need for heating will be reduced, and hopefully, you'll be able to save a bit more on energy. Our technical category manager at The Underfloor Heating Store, David Johnson, has provided even more tips on how to save on your energy bills this year.

David says that 'we can all reduce our electricity bills by simply being aware of how much energy each item indoor household consumes and cutting down'. The appliances that use the most electricity include:

  • Electric showers
  • Oven and hobs
  • Tumble dryers
  • Washing machines
  • Immersion heaters
  • Electric heaters, panel heaters and storage heating

'Reducing the time spent in an electric shower, using a microwave instead of the hob, and boiling the kettle with just enough water are all ways you can lower your energy consumption.'

Other tips include 'changing your lightbulbs to LEDs', which can 'save you heaps on your bills'. As well as 'switching the lights off as you leave the room and switching off appliances from the wall rather than leaving them on standby'.

With energy costs expected to peak in April and continue to be high throughout 2024, you may want to consider alternative options for heating your home. David says that 'well-insulated water underfloor heating is much more efficient to run than conventional radiators'. In fact, installing underfloor heating 'could save up to 20% on your energy bills', making it well worth the investment while also adding value to your property too.

Methodology

The Underfloor Heating Store scraped globalpetrolprices.com to find the price of a kilowatt in each country, correct as of June 2022. Figures on the typical annual electricity use from Ofgem, for a small (flat or one bedroom house; 1-2 people), medium (2-3 bedroom house; 2-3 people) and high (4+ bedroom house; 4-5 people) house was also scraped. To determine the cost, the average output was multiplied by the average kilowatt price in each country.

Browse our energy-efficient heating options to help cut down on your energy bills.

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