Budapest Retains Lowest Household Energy Prices in EUReading Time: < 1 minutes
The average price of energy for households in Budapest is 10.63 eurocents / kWh, which ranks the Hungarian capital first – the cheapest – among the EU capitals. Electricity prices were even lower in Belgrade, Serbia. The highest prices among EU capitals were registered in Copenhagen and Berlin, with rates three times as high as in Budapest.
The average household price of natural gas was 2.87 eurocents per kilowatt hour in Budapest, which is again the cheapest among the EU capitals surveyed (even below Belgrade). The highest gas price is charged in Stockholm, where a kilowatt hour costs almost 10 times more than in Budapest. The Hungarian government has introduced various measures to keep household energy prices under control and appeal to voters since 2012.
But experts warn of possible negative consequences of cheap energy. First, with energy prices massively on the rise in global markets but utility companies unable to transfer costs to households, the losses will have to be borne by state-owned utility companies (ultimately, taxpayers). Second, industrial consumers, who are not protected by the regulated prices, already suffer under increasing energy costs, and high energy prices are already reflected in current skyrocketing inflation.
And third, as a perverse effect of low energy costs, households are not keen on investing in energy saving projects, as the costs of the investment are usually much higher than the money they could save from the investment.