Czechia paid higher energy bills than any other EU country in second half of last year

Adjusted for purchasing power, Czechs had to pay the most for gas out of all EU countries and faced the second-highest electricity prices.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 19.04.2023 16:00:00 (updated on 20.04.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

New data shows that in the second half of 2022, people in Czechia paid among the highest prices for energy in the whole of Europe. These, however, have declined substantially so far this year.

A sharp rise in the past 12 months

Czechs paid about CZK 9 per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity on average in the second half of last year – the fourth-highest nominal price after Denmark, Belgium, and Ireland. As reported by Seznam Zprávy, when taking purchasing power into account, people in Czechia paid the second-highest amount, with only Romania being more expensive.

This is over double the rate that people in Czechia paid in the second half of 2021.

A similar trend happened with gas prices. When adjusted for purchasing power, residents of Czechia in the second half of 2022 paid the highest amount for gas out of all EU countries. The first half of 2022 saw gas in Czechia cost an average of CZK 2.4/kWh, which rose to CZK 4.45/kWh in the second half of last year.

Eurostat data from 2022 also reveals that in the first half of last year, Czech households suffered the highest price increase in electricity out of the whole of the EU on a year-on-year basis.

Government spokesperson Miluše Trefancová said that the government’s price ceiling – of CZK 6/kWh hour of electricity and CZK 3/kWh of gas – and energy-saving tariffs (worth up to CZK 3,500 per person) have aided the situation. Critics, however, say that the government acted too late and that the caps were higher than they needed to be.

New, cheaper tariffs

Thankfully for Czechia, the situation is getting better. Earlier this month, energy supplier E.ON reported that it would offer electricity and gas prices “well below” the ceiling set by the government, charging around CZK 4.5/kWh (without value-added tax) on its most common distribution rate. For gas, the large energy company has changed its rate to under CZK 2/kWh. 

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Consumers should also be aware that energy provider České Teplo from the beginning of last month reduced its electricity price for all its customers to CZK 4.4/kWh and the price of gas to CZK 2.25/kWh. Another large provider, Pražská plynárenská, has followed suit in similar style. 

"I am convinced that prices will not return to the high [energy] values ​​we experienced last year"

Štěpán Křeček, adviser to Prime Minister Petr Fiala

This is significant: these new prices are similar to those in the first half of 2021, when Czech residents paid an average CZK 4.6/kWh for electricity.

Assuming a family (or group) of four people live in an apartment and consumes 2,000 kWh per month, this allows them to save over CZK 3,000 per month, compared to the maximum price under the government’s price ceiling.

Lidovky.cz notes that, despite the now-cheaper prices, consumers will likely not see these changes on their bills until later this year or the start of 2024 (depending on the length of their contracts). 

A family with a high consumption of gas for cooking and heating can save “tens of thousands” of crowns with the newer tariffs, compared with 2022 prices. 

Cheaper costs in Czechia are reflected in the spot prices of electricity on Central European exchange markets. While electricity was sold for more than EUR 320 (CZK 7,500) per megawatt hour (mWh) in December, it currently costs around EUR 150. Natural gas fell from EUR 140 to around EUR 60. This is lower than pre-Ukraine war levels, and the cheapest rate since the final quarter of 2021.

Amid low (and falling, due to the upcoming warmer months) consumption and lessening inflation across the EU, energy prices in Czechia are set to continue to decline, albeit less pronouncedly than in recent months.

Despite paying exorbitant rates last year, Czechs will be relieved that the price of energy has since declined dramatically. With summer ahead and gas reserves over half full in Czechia, there is good cause for optimism for the coming months.

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For a comprehensive comparison of different energy prices and tariffs offered by various companies in Czechia, see the following sites:

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