Czechs pay the sixth-highest electricity prices in Europe

The Czech government is trailing behind other countries in announcing what steps it will take to mitigate increases. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 25.07.2022 12:52:00 (updated on 25.07.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechs have some of the highest electricity prices in Europe. The country had the sixth-most expensive electricity out of more than 30 monitored locations, according to a European Commission report.

The only cities with higher prices were Vienna, London, Rome, Copenhagen, and Berlin. Compared to last year, the price of electricity in Czechia jumped by 70 percent.

“Retail electricity prices for household costumers in EU capital cities were up by 44 percent in May 2022, compared to the same month in 2021,” the EC report stated. Vienna’s energy price was 49.6 euro cents per kilowatt hour. Prague came in at 40 euro cents per kilowatt hour.

The cheapest electricity was in Budapest, Belgrade, and Kyiv. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has used subsidies to put a ceiling on electricity prices. Hungarians have not yet felt the sharp growth in the energy market more significantly, new server E24 reported.

Prague has also seen one of the largest energy price jumps in the long term, according to the EC analysis. Over the past even years, the biggest increase in energy prices as of May 2022, some 156 percent, was registered in Rome. Vienna followed closely with a 150 percent increase since February 2015, followed by Prague, up 113 percent, and Brussels, up 109 percent. Bratislava and Berlin saw the smallest long-term increases, of 30 percent and 40 percent respectively.

Hungary is not the only country to take steps to alleviate energy prices. Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands have all reduced fees or taxes on energy. France has put a 4 percent cap on how much energy prices can rise, and has made one-off subsidy payments of EUR 100 to consumers.

Slovakia has capped electricity prices until 2024 at EUR 61.21 per megawatt hour, excluding value-added tax. The agreement came after the Slovak government threatened to raise taxes on excessive profits from nuclear energy, according to news server Euractiv.

The UK, which is no longer part of the EU, has also taken steps to help consumers. “The government has announced that every household in the UK is to get an energy bill discount of £400, to offset the rising price of fuel. Households on means-tested benefits will also get a one-off payment of £650, while pensioner households will receive an extra winter fuel payment of £300. There will also be a one-off disability cost-of-living payment of £150,” the BBC reported in May.

Czech households are still waiting for the government’s plan to reduce electricity and gas bills. The government should determine the details at the end of July and start of August. It will likely be a state subsidy for gas and electricity traders, which will then trickle down to a reduction in consumer bills. There is also a plan to waive payments for renewable sources.

E24 also pointed out the possibility of the Czech government taking over energy giant ČEZ, which would give it more control over energy prices. Currently, the Czech Finance Ministry owns 69.78 percent of the company. Shares are publicly traded on the Prague Stock Exchange. France is planning similar steps to nationalize its energy giant EDF.  

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