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Irish households pay €250 more each year for electricity than EU average

Electricity prices in Ireland are 26pc above the EU average, and are the fourth most expensive in the bloc

Charlie Weston

Households in this country pay €250 more for electricity each year than the EU average.

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

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

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

However, the report does not capture the full extent of the energy crisis, as the figures were compiled long before the war in Ukraine broke out and before many suppliers increased their prices again at the start of this year.

Households here face paying €800 per year more in electricity costs due to recent price hikes.

The high cost of electricity comes despite the fact there are around a dozen suppliers in the residential market.

The Eurostat report also shows that Ireland is the eighth most expensive for residential gas in the EU.

Gas prices are in line with the EU average, according to the European statistics agency.

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

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

"And according to the latest figures from Eurostat, the EU's statistical agency, we can add electricity to the list too."

Prices are lowest in Hungary, Bulgaria and Croatia.

Mr Cassidy said tax here was not the main reason that energy prices are higher than the EU average.

"Believe it or not, energy is one of the few products where Irish consumers are taxed relatively lightly compared to the EU average," he said.

Government taxes and charges such as VAT and the PSO (public service obligation) make up around 20pc of the final price paid by consumers in this country.

This compares with around 36pc on average in Europe, Mr Cassidy said.

Netting out government taxes and charges means that the prices charged by suppliers for electricity here are the most expensive in the EU.

Mr Cassidy said the net price of electricity was 60pc above the EU average, once taxes and levies are subtracted.

"This would suggest there are huge inefficiencies in the generation of electricity 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 the costs of gas, and there are high network investment costs to supply energy to a dispersed population and taxation.

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