Retail power prices among EU’s lowest, wholesale prices high

Retail electricity prices in Greece, during the second half of 2019, were among the lowest in the EU, while the country registered the second biggest drop in household electricity cost, down by 5.8 percent during this period, compared to the EU average of a 1.3 percent increase, according to official Eurostat data.

However, Greece’s wholesale price level, or more specifically, day-ahead market price, is one of the highest in south and southeast Europe.

The cost of electricity for households in Greece averaged 155 euros per MWh in the first half of 2019, compared to the EU average of 216 euros per MWh, the Eurostat data showed. The cost of electricity in Greece, including taxes and surcharges, was ranked 21st among the EU-27.

The cost of electricity for enterprises in Greece was below the EU average, placing Greece in 12th place with an average price of 108 euros per MWh compared to the EU’s 117 euros per MWh in the first half of 2019, the Eurostat data showed.

A recent study conducted by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy showed that Greece’s day-ahead market price averaged 41 euros per MWh in the first half of 2019, well over the average of 34 euros per MWh in south and southeast Europe.

Market officials attributed this discrepancy to Greece possessing just a day-ahead market, forcing all electricity amounts to be channeled through this one market. In other parts of the EU, wholesale electricity markets also feature intra-day, forward, balancing reserve and capacity markets. As a result, electricity producers and importers operating elsewhere also retrieve costs from other markets, which is not possible in Greece.

Local retail electricity prices register EU’s 4th biggest dip

Retail electricity prices in Greece registered the EU’s fourth largest reduction in the first half of 2019, compared to the equivalent period a year earlier, falling by 1.3 percent, latest Eurostat data has shown, primarily as a result of more aggressive discount policies by independent suppliers for households and enterprises.

Denmark was ranked first with a 4.3 percent price fall, followed by Portugal with a 4.1 percent drop, and Poland, where retail electricity prices slid 3.1 percent.

The average EU price rose by one cent. The Netherlands posted the biggest price increase, averaging 20.3 percent. Cyprus followed with a 16.4 percent increase, Lithuania was next on the list with an average price hike of 14.4 percent and the Czech Republic was fourth with a 12 percent price increase.

Retail electricity prices in the Greek market are among the EU-28’s lowest, the Eurostat data showed. Greece was ranked 18th in this category with an average tariff price per KWh of 0.16 euro. Germany is the most expensive with an average tariff price per KWh of 0.30 euro. The EU average is 0.21 euro and the Eurozone average 0.22 euro, according to the Eurostat data.

Despite the more aggressive pricing policies of independent suppliers in Greece, power utility PPC maintained its dominant position with a retail market share ranging between 77 and 80 percent during the first half. PPC not only avoided dropping its prices but reduced a punctuality discount offered to customers paying their electricity bills on time.

Electricity prices in Greece and other EU member states could have been lower if it were not for the considerably sized surcharges and taxes added to electricity bills, Eurostat noted. Over one-third of total electricity costs go to state coffers and electricity transmission and distribution network operators, Eurostat added.

Low-cost electricity in Greece elevated by taxes, surcharges

The cost of electricity for households in Greece has increased by 15.3 percent, year-on-year, primarily as a result of taxes and various surcharges, first-half data released by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service, has shown.

The tariff for household electricity consumption in the 1,000-2,500 KWh category rose to 0.1914 euros per KWh from 0.166 euros per KWh in the first half of 2017, placing Greece in 17th place on an EU household electricity cost list, the EU data showed.

Without taxes and surcharges, the actual cost of electricity in Greece fell by 2.1 percent, to 0.1175 euros per KWh from 0.12 euros.

Given these figures, not including taxes and surcharges, households consuming 2,500 KWh of electricity in the first half of this year would have have paid 293.75 euros, or  6.5 euros less than a 300.25-euro amount covering last year’s first half.

However, as a result of these taxes and surcharges, any household registering such a consumption level ended up paying 70 euros more for electricity in this year’s first half – or 485 euros compared to 415 euros in the first half last year.

The cost of electricity in Greece is among Europe’s lowest but consumers end up paying hefty amounts, given income levels, as a result of taxes and surcharges.

Electricity bill surcharges – regardless of the supplier – include municipal, property and ERT state radio and TV fees that represent approximately 20 percent of power bill sums.

Visiting Eurostat team informs of stricter data monitoring

Eurostat officials completed a two-day visit to Greece yesterday, staged under the radar, as a preliminary step to inform of the Brusssels authority’s plan to carry out stricter monitoring of energy market data, a key aspect in the European Commission’s accumulation of energy-sector statistics and shaping of policies.

On this visit, the Brussels team updated Greek government officials and authorities on issues such as Eurostat data-collecting methods, recent revisions made, issues that could arise as a result of these changes and the legal framework surrounding energy market statistics.

Requirements linked to the EU “winter package” of energy sector measures were discussed. New demands required by Eurostat were also highlighted during the two-day visit.

Both sides also took the opportunity to exchange ideas that could improve the collaboration and discussed initiatives that may be needed for improvements should any gaps or shortcomings be detected.