Review of European Electricity Prices

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1 On behalf of Union of the Electricity Industry EURELECTRIC Final Report Prepared by KEMA Consulting GmbH Bonn, Germany

2 Disclaimer This report is based on empirical evidence and provides facts and observations on price developments. This report has made exclusive use of publicly available data such as from EUROSTAT, which in part might differ from numbers used by individual companies. Neither EURELECTRIC nor KEMA is bound by these figures. The objective of this report is to provide clear evidence as a basis for discussions between different stakeholders. KEMA has therefore made exclusive use of objective measures that can be explicitly quantified, such as end-user prices, network charges and fuel prices. KEMA acknowledges that there exists a variety of other factors that may have an impact on the evolution of electricity prices such as for instance the degree of market opening or market design. However, in the absence of a reasonable and straightforward measurement to quantify their impact on prices, these factors have not been taken into account in the current analysis. Project Team: Christian Hewicker (lead), François Boisseleau, Gian Carlo Scarsi, Tarjei Kristiansen, Dave Lenton, Plamen Stoimenov, Tom Eikmans, Waisum Cheng. KEMA Consulting GmbH Kurt-Schumacher-Str Bonn Germany T F KEMA Limited Regent's Place 338 Euston Road London, NW1 3BT United Kingdom T F KEMA Nederland B.V. Utrechtseweg 310 P.O. Box 9035 Arnhem 6800 ET The Netherlands T F Copyright 2005 by KEMA/Eurelectric. All rights reserved. i

3 Table of Contents 1. Introduction General Approach Price Evolution Over the Last 10 Years Development of Electricity Prices for Industrial Users Development of Household Electricity Prices for Households in the EU Development of Household Electricity Prices in the New Member States General Observations Analysis of Relevant Price Components Introduction Overview of Price Components Factors Influencing Electricity Prices General Observations Final Remarks and Observations Appendices Appendix 1: Technical Notes Appendix 2: Country Data Appendix 3: General Sources of Information...90 ii

4 LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Evolution of end-user prices for industrial users (24 GWh, )...6 Figure 2: National differences of end-user prices for industrial users (24 GWh, , nominal) 7 Figure 3: National differences in end-user prices for industrial users (24 GWh, , real)...7 Figure 4: Cumulative change in end-user prices for industrial users (24 GWh, )...8 Figure 5: Evolution of end-user prices for households in the EU-15 (3,500 kwh, )...9 Figure 6: National differences in end-user prices for households (3,500 kwh, , nominal) 10 Figure 7: National differences in end-user prices for households (3,500 kwh, , real) Figure 8: Cumulative change in end-user prices for households (3,500 kwh, ) Figure 9: Evolution of end-user prices for households in the new Member States Figure 10: Main components of end-user prices...15 Figure 11: Share of different price components in industrial end-user prices (last available year) Figure 12: Share of different price components in household end-user prices (last available year) Figure 13: Evolution of prices and share of taxes (excl. VAT) for industrial users (24 GWh, )20 Figure 14: Share of taxes (excl. VAT) for industrial users (24 GWh, 1995 vs. 2004) based on EUROSTAT Figure 15: Evolution of prices and share of taxes (incl. VAT) for households (3,500 kwh, )22 Figure 16: Share of taxes (incl. VAT) for households (3,500 kwh, 1995 vs. 2004) Figure 17: Fuel mix in the EU-15 (2000) Figure 18: Evolution of oil and coal prices ( ) based on nominal prices in Euro Figure 19: Evolution of gas prices (ex-vat) in the EU countries (41860 GJ, , nominal) Figure 20: Nominal wholesale prices based on national power exchanges (2002=100) Figure 21: Average exchange rates to the EURO (1995=100) Figure 22: Inflation in the EU-15 ( ) Figure 23: 2003 Share of national consumption...41 Figure 24: Price evolution for industrial users using a simple average (24 GWh, ) Figure 25: Price evolution for industrial users using a weighted average (24 GWh, ) Figure 26: Main components of end-user prices...43 Figure 27: Cost components for households in Austria ( ) Figure 28: Cost components for industrial consumers in Austria (24 GWh, ) Figure 29: Cost components for households in Belgium ( ) Figure 30: Cost components for households in the Czech Republic ( ) Figure 31: Cost components for industrial consumers in the Czech Republic ( ) Figure 32: Cost components for households in Denmark ( ) Figure 33: Cost components for industrial consumers in Denmark ( ) Figure 34: Cost components for households in Estonia ( ) Figure 35: Cost components for households in Finland ( ) Figure 36: Cost components for industrial consumers in Finland ( ) Figure 37: Cost components for industrial consumers in France ( ) Figure 38: Cost components for households in Germany ( ) Figure 39: Cost components for industrial consumers in Germany ( ) Figure 40: Cost components for industrial consumers in Greece ( ) Figure 41: Cost components for households in Hungary ( ) iii

5 Figure 42: Cost components for industrial consumers in Hungary ( ) Figure 43: Cost components for households in Ireland ( ) Figure 44: Cost components for industrial consumers in Ireland ( ) Figure 45: Cost components for household in Italy ( , captive customers) Figure 46: Cost components for industrial consumers in Italy ( ) Figure 47: Cost components for households in Latvia ( ) Figure 48: Cost components for industrial consumers in Latvia ( ) Figure 49: Cost components for industrial consumers in Lithuania ( ) Figure 50: Cost components for households in Luxembourg ( ) Figure 51: Cost components for industrial consumers in Luxembourg ( ) Figure 52: Cost components for households in the Netherlands ( ) Figure 53: Cost components for households in Norway ( ) Figure 54: Cost components for industrial consumers in Norway (4 GWh, ) Figure 55: Cost components for households in Poland ( ) Figure 56: Cost components for industrial consumer in Poland ( ) Figure 57: Cost components for average users in Portugal ( ) Figure 58: Cost components average households in Slovakia ( ) Figure 59: Cost components for average industrial users in Slovakia ( ) Figure 60: Cost components for average households in Slovenia ( ) Figure 61: Cost components for average users in Spain ( ) Figure 62: Cost components for average households in Spain ( ) Figure 63: Cost components for average industrial consumers in Spain ( ) Figure 64: Cost components for households in Sweden ( ) Figure 65: Cost components for industrial consumers in Sweden (2-10 GWh, ) Figure 66: Cost components for households in the United Kingdom ( ) Figure 67: Cost components for industrial consumers in the United Kingdom ( ) iv

6 1. Introduction Starting with the adoption of the first Electricity Directive back in 1996, the European electricity markets have been gradually liberalised over the past 10 years. The overall objectives of this process have been to provide additional benefits to European consumers and to enhance the competitive position of the European economy by creating a common European electricity market. Liberalisation and market opening have been aimed at increasing efficiency and introducing competition into power supply, in order to provide European consumers with safe and reliable supply of electricity at reasonable prices. Ten years after the start of this process, a review of this development is made to assess the results that have been achieved to date. This report is therefore part of an initiative by the Union of the Electricity Industry EURELECTRIC which aims to provide a solid and evidenced basis for discussions with external stakeholders. More specifically, EURELECTRIC contracted KEMA Consulting to collect and summarise data on the evolution of electricity prices for the period 1995 to Besides the general evolution of end-user prices over the last 10 years, EURELECTRIC has also requested a more detailed analysis of the price evolution since 2000, including a breakdown of end-user prices into major price components. The overall objective of this report is to gather empirical evidence and present, to the extent possible, a concise descriptive picture of the development of electricity prices in the EU (and Norway) over the last 10 years. KEMA Consulting has carried out this project based on the Guidance Document provided by EURELECTRIC. This report provides facts and observations on price developments. KEMA Consulting has made exclusive use of publicly available data. In addition, various meetings have been held with the EURELECTRIC Task Force Price Evolution and external stakeholders. KEMA Consulting are also grateful to a number of internal and external stakeholders who have assisted us in identifying, collecting and interpreting the relevant sources of information. Finally, it should be emphasised that this report focuses on price developments, i.e. relative price movements, but not on the absolute price level in different countries. The remainder of this report is structured as follows: In section 2, brief comment is made on the approach to data collection and treatment, and the selection of customer groups for further analysis. Section 3 summarises the general evolution of end-user prices over the last 10 years. In section 4 consideration is given to the three main price components and their evolution over the past 5 years. In addition, a comparison of the development of these price components and of a number of potential cost drivers has been made, before concluding the report with some remarks and observations in section 5. 1

7 2. General Approach The overall objective of this report is to provide a concise descriptive picture of the evolution of final end-user prices for electricity in the European Union (and Norway). Apart from the collection and treatment of information, the main tasks under this project were to: Analyse general trends of selected categories of end-user prices over the last 10 years ( ) 1 To the extent reasonably possible, break down end-user prices into relevant price components over the last 5 years ( ); and Describe the evolution of important potential cost drivers. In general, the analysis considers the following countries: EU 15 + Norway: For the analysis of general price trends ( ) EU 25 + Norway (excluding Cyprus and Malta): For the detailed analysis of price components ( ) Below, brief comment is made on the main data sources used, the customer categories considered and the approach taken to comparing prices from the different countries and years. More details on the approach and assumptions can be found in the technical notes at the end of this report (Appendix 1). Data from the following sources have been used (see also section 6.1.2): Centralised data: within this category, data published by international organisations, namely EUROSTAT (end-user prices for electricity and gas, and inflation), ERRA (electricity prices for accession countries), UCTE / NORDEL (physical data) and EURELECTRIC (EURPROG - consumption), have been used. National data: The centralised data have been supplemented by collecting information on a national level, including end-user prices, network charges, taxes, fuel, and wholesale prices, from various regulators (e.g. E-Control, CREG, STEM etc.), national statistical offices (e.g. Norway, Sweden), industry associations (e.g. VDEW, VDN) and power exchanges. 1 It must be noted that our analysis does not consider data from 2005 and therefore does not consider the price evolution in 2005 or forward prices for future years. For the same reason, our current analysis has not yet considered e.g. the impact of carbon emission prices on power prices. 2

8 Individual prices and published tariffs: In several countries, publicly available price or tariff information from individual companies has been used. Where possible, such information has been aggregated and an average across several companies has been used. To allow for a meaningful comparison of price information from all countries considered under this study, the analysis has been limited to the following customer groups: Households (EUROSTAT cat. Dc) with an annual consumption of 3,500 kwh that are connected to low-voltage networks; and Industrial consumers (EUROSTAT cat. Ig) with an annual consumption of 24,000 MWh, a maximum demand of 4000 kw and an annual utilisation of 6000 hours that are connected to medium-voltage networks. These two customer categories are consistent with those defined in the Council Directive 90/377/EEC of 29 June 1990 and are also used in the EU Benchmarking Reports. Whilst these groups do only cover a limited share of total consumption, some supplementary analysis (compare section 6.1.3) indicates that they are reasonably representative for most types of consumers. Despite some differences in the evolution over time, there is generally a high degree of correlation showing that these two customer categories can be considered representative for the general trends of the national electricity markets. For both customer groups, KEMA Consulting has alternatively used national data for the same or (where necessary) a similar customer category if no, or only incomplete, data was available from EUROSTAT. 2 In order to take account of national differences and the time period considered, the following approach has been applied to all prices when including them in the comparison (see also section 6.1.4): Exchange rates: All end-user prices are based on values in local currency, which removes the potential impact of exchange rate fluctuations; Average Prices: Where KEMA Consulting has had to rely on detailed tariff information, sometimes with multiple elements, this has been converted into annual average payments per kwh; Use of regional averages: Where end-user prices and/or network charges vary regionally, an average figure has been used, preferably based on a representative sample of companies; It must be noted that in some cases discrepancies exist between national data and EUROSTAT data. In the case of Sweden, we have instead used the median as national authorities already report this value. 3

9 Inflation nominal vs. real prices: Prices are presented in both nominal terms and real terms, i.e. in current and historic prices. Real prices have been determined based on the national inflation rates published by EUROSTAT. Conversely, average EU inflation rates have been applied to the aggregated EU indicator 4 ; Taxes: For household customers, all taxes, including VAT, have been taken into account. Conversely, prices exclusive of VAT for industrial consumers have been used; Indexation: Since this analysis focuses on the (relative) evolution of prices in different countries, price indices for all comparisons between countries have been used. In practice, all prices in our analysis are indexed to the first year (e.g. 1995), which is defined as 100; and Weighting: Where no aggregated EU-wide indicator was available, weighted prices from the various countries based on their national consumption (in 2003) have been used. 4 This is the case for the customer category with a consumption of 3500 kwh since EUROSTAT publishes an aggregated indicator for this category. 4

10 3. Price Evolution Over the Last 10 Years In this section, KEMA Consulting present the evolution of end-user prices over the last 10 years, i.e. since the time before adoption of the first Electricity Directive in The first two sections describe the development within the EU-15 (+ Norway), i.e. in those countries that initially embarked upon liberalisation under the 1996 Directive. In accordance with the selection of customer groups discussed above, section 3.1 illustrates the evolution of electricity prices for industrial consumers, whilst section 3.2 provides the same information for domestic customers. In contrast, the analysis of end-user prices (domestic customers only) in the new Member States has been kept separate (section 3.3) for two reasons. First, the 1996 Electricity Directive did not immediately apply in these countries. Secondly, most of these countries have been undergoing a transformation from socialist to market economies, often implying the need to gradually remove cross-subsidies and increase electricity prices to a level that allows for recovery of costs. Based on these considerations, it seems reasonable to suppose that the development may have been different in these countries. Please note that this chapter does not differentiate between different price components; this analysis is the subject of chapter 4. Moreover, all prices include taxes (for industry: without VAT) and are shown in nominal and real terms both at an aggregate level and on a country basis Development of Electricity Prices for Industrial Users Figure 1 shows the evolution of electricity prices for industrial users with an annual consumption of 24 GWh from 1995 to 2004 using a weighted average. The national consumption of each country has been used as a parameter for weighting prices and creating a weighted price for the entire EU based on consumption data for the year 2003 (see section 6.1.4). In both real and nominal terms, one may observe a strong decrease until 1999/2001. This amounts to 21% in real terms and some 13% in nominal terms compared to This decrease has been followed by an increase in prices in both real and nominal terms in recent years. For instance, prices in real terms stagnated between 2000 and 2002 but have since increased to a level corresponding to 85% of the 1995 price level. Nominal prices, on the other hand, have risen again since reaching their lowest point in the year 2000 and almost reached the 1995 price level in

11 This development thus shows that although prices have increased in real terms in recent years, they still remain some 15% below their 1995 level. This observation implies that the average industrial customer in those countries considered in Figure 1 paid significantly less for electricity in the year 2004 than 10 years ago when general inflation is taken into account. In nominal terms, the development shows that the initial marked decrease in nominal prices had been more or less fully made up by 2004, with only a negligible decrease (0.2%) versus the 1995 level = Nominal Real terms Countries included (12): Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, UK Figure 1: Evolution of end-user prices for industrial users (24 GWh, ) Note: Prices exclude VAT; weighted average; prices in real terms based on the inflation for the EU-15; the following countries have been considered: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, the UK and Norway (excluding Norway these countries represent 87% of the EU-15 and 78% of the EU-25 in terms of total consumption); Only those countries where prices were available for the entire period ( ) have been included. To complement the illustration of a EU-wide indicator, Figure 2 and Figure 3 present the national evolution of end-user prices for industrial consumers in the same countries that have also been considered in Figure 1. These two figures show significant differences between individual countries. Besides rather different patterns over time, significant variations can be seen in the resulting cumulative changes in electricity prices between 1995 and 2004, ranging between a reduction of 41% and an increase of 34% in real terms, or - 33% to +58% in nominal terms. 6

12 Belgium Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Italy Luxembourg Norway Portugal Spain United Kingdom 1995= % Norway -33% UK Figure 2: National differences of end-user prices for industrial users (24 GWh, , nominal) Note: Prices exclude VAT, based on EUROSTAT data Belgium Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Italy Luxembourg Norway Portugal Spain United Kingdom 1995= % Norway -41% UK Figure 3: National differences in end-user prices for industrial users (24 GWh, , real) Note: Prices exclude VAT, based on EUROSTAT data and national inflation rates To better illustrate the cumulative change over the entire period, Figure 4 shows the total variation in end-user prices between 1995 and 2004 for the same countries, again in nominal and real terms. The fact that four of the five largest countries (France, Germany, Spain and the UK) are among the countries with the largest price reductions partially explains why the weighted indicator shows an overall decrease at European level despite significant price increases in some other countries. 7

13 Norway 34% 58% Finland 15% 32% Italy 3% 29% Ireland 1% 34% Germany -9% 2% Belgium -13% 1% Greece -14% 23% EU 11+Norway -16% 0% France -23% -11% Luxembourg -24% -8% Portugal Spain -35% -26% -16% -5% Nominal Real terms United Kingdom -41% -33% -50% -30% -10% 10% 30% 50% 70% Figure 4: Cumulative change in end-user prices for industrial users (24 GWh, ) Note: Prices exclude VAT based on EUROSTAT data and national inflation rates 3.2. Development of Household Electricity Prices for Households in the EU-15 Similar to the case of industrial consumers in the previous section, Figure 5 shows the evolution of final electricity prices for households in both real and nominal terms (including all taxes), based on the EU-indicator for the electricity price calculated by EUROSTAT (weighted average). In principle, nominal prices show a similar pattern as in the case of industrial users, i.e. a decrease until 1999, followed by increasing prices thereafter. Due to the limited extent of this variation, which does not exceed 2.5%, one may alternatively conclude that nominal household electricity prices have largely stagnated over the entire period. Households in those countries shown in Figure 5 thus paid virtually the same amount for electricity in 2004 as 10 years earlier. In contrast, prices have been constantly decreasing in real terms over the entire period. Overall, household prices in real terms were thus some 15% lower in the year 2004 than a decade before, indicating substantial benefits for this customer group. 8

14 = Nominal Real terms Figure 5: Evolution of end-user prices for households in the EU-15 (3,500 kwh, ) Note: Prices include VAT based on EUROSTAT indicator (supplemented by 1995 price information for Austria and Sweden from UNIPEDE publications); prices in real terms based on the average inflation for the EU-15. In Figure 6 and Figure 7, the same information is presented on a national level. Similar to the case of industrial users, one may observe significant differences between individual countries, especially with respect to the cumulative change over the entire period. In nominal terms, this figure ranges between -18% and +87%, whilst the respective numbers in real terms are between -28% and +50%. 9

15 Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Italy Luxembourg Netherlands Norway Portugal Spain Sweden United Kingdom % Netherlands = % UK Figure 6: National differences in end-user prices for households (3,500 kwh, , nominal) Note: Prices include VAT based on EUROSTAT data Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Italy Luxembourg Netherlands Norway Portugal Spain Sweden United Kingdom % Netherlands = Figure 7: National differences in end-user prices for households (3,500 kwh, , real) Note: Prices include VAT based on EUROSTAT data and national inflation rates -31% Spain 10

16 Similar to the case of industrial users, it is important to note that the evolution of the EU-wide indicator is strongly influenced by the development in the 5 largest countries (Germany, France, UK, Italy and Spain). These countries, which all show decreasing prices in real terms, account for some 2/3 of the European consumption (compare Figure 23 on page 41). Conversely, prices have mainly increased in smaller and medium-sized countries, such as Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Luxembourg or Finland. Netherlands Norway Sweden Denmark Ireland Finland Luxembourg Austria Germany EU 15 Belgium Portugal France Italy United Kingdom Greece Spain -1.0% -15.3% -2.0% -15.9% -19.1% -10.9% -23.0% -6.6% -25.0% -17.8% -27.9% -28.9% -11.0% -30.8% 13.9% 8.4% 3.4% 14.7% 0.2% 10.8% 0.1% 4.4% 1.8% 36.2% 30.5% 27.4% 24.7% 24.2% 50.1% 49.2% 51.8% 50.4% 60.4% Nominal Real terms 86.5% -50% -30% -10% 10% 30% 50% 70% 90% Figure 8: Cumulative change in end-user prices for households (3,500 kwh, ) Note: Prices include VAT based on EUROSTAT data and national inflation rates 3.3. Development of Household Electricity Prices in the New Member States The previous section analysed the evolution of household electricity prices in the EU- 15 (+ Norway), i.e. in those countries that initially agreed upon the first Electricity Directive in The following text provides the corresponding results for five of the ten New Member States which joined the EU in This presentation is again based on an aggregated indicator for the evolution of household electricity prices in both nominal and real terms (including all taxes). However, in this case, the simple average is used, 5 based on national data. 5 Given the differences in size, Poland represents more than 2/3 of total consumption in this group. Applying the weighted average would therefore result in an obvious dominance of Polish prices in the results. 11

17 In contrast to the EU-15, Figure 9 shows a constant and rapid growth of household electricity prices over the entire period, which grew by almost 90% in nominal terms. This indicates a significant difference in the evolution of end-user prices in the old vs. the new Member States. This observation is confirmed by the development of end-user prices in real terms, which have remained relatively stable (with a limited increase especially in the early years) in the new Member States. This is again rather different from the EU-15 where Figure 5 has shown a constant decrease, equal to a cumulative reduction of 15% until Finally, it is interesting to note that the difference between prices in real and nominal terms in the EU-15 amounts to some 15% at the end of the 10-year period. In contrast, stagnating prices in real terms in the new Member States correspond to an increase in nominal prices of almost 90%. This difference obviously is a result of significantly higher inflation in the new Member States compared to the EU-15 over the period under consideration. Overall, these findings confirm our initial assumption that the development has been rather different in the Central and Eastern European countries than in the EU-15. Whilst consumers in the EU-15 have obviously benefited from a reduction in electricity prices in real terms, this is not the case for domestic customers in the new Member States. However, the development of nominal prices is obviously distorted by a significant difference in inflation. Evolution in nominal terms Evolution in real terms Latvia Poland Slovenia Estonia Hungary Simple average Latvia Poland Slovenia Estonia Hungary Simple average Figure 9: Evolution of end-user prices for households in the new Member States Note: 3500 kwh, simple average ; prices include VAT; based on national data; prices in real terms based on national inflation; Only those countries where prices were available for the entire period ( ) have been included, i.e. Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia. 12

18 3.4. General Observations At first sight, an analysis of the price evolution for industrial and household customers in the EU-15 seems to indicate a similar development. Electricity prices have decreased over the entire period by approximately 15% in real terms, whilst the cumulative changes are negligible for both customer groups in nominal terms. At a European level, both households and industrial customers thus paid considerably less for electricity in 2004 when measured in 1995 prices. A closer look, however, reveals significant differences. First, the cumulative change in this weighted indicator (which is also based on a different number and selection of countries) is clearly the result of a different pattern of evolution for these two customer groups. For industrial consumers, both nominal and real prices show a significant reduction in the beginning, followed by a marked increase in recent years. In contrast, household prices have shown only a very limited variation in nominal terms, but a constant decrease in real terms. Secondly, our analysis reveals significant differences between individual countries for both customer categories. Apart from the difference between households and industrial users, it is thus impossible to identify a clear trend for either of these two groups that would apply to all countries. Moreover, while consumers have clearly benefited from the evolution of end-user prices in some countries, they obviously had to pay more in 2004 than in 1995 in other countries. Thirdly, our separate analysis of the new Member States has shown that the development in this region has obviously been rather different from the EU-15. Whilst households in the EU-15 have been able to enjoy considerable benefits, domestic customers in Central Eastern Europe paid slightly more in 2004 than in 1995 when measured in real terms, corresponding to an increase of almost 90% in nominal terms. This represents a significant difference and suggests that the development in this region may not be comparable to the EU-15, at least in the first part of the period under study. In summary, our observations indicate that, despite some clear trends at a regional level, the evolution of end-user prices has been rather different across the EU and for household vs. industrial consumers, as well as between the new and the old Member States. Furthermore, it should be noted that these prices do not only include the costs of energy but also network charges, plus taxes and other governmentally imposed levies or surcharges. 13

19 4. Analysis of Relevant Price Components 4.1. Introduction In section 3, the evolution of end-user prices has been analysed. Clearly, these are influenced not only by the costs of energy as the primary product, but also by the costs of the network and a number of taxes and other payments resulting from governmental and/or political decisions. In this section, we therefore make an attempt at breaking down end-user prices into their relevant price components. However, prior to and in the early years of liberalisation, electricity prices were not usually unbundled into different components, such as energy and network components. For this reason, the subsequent analysis is generally limited to the last 5 years ( ) or, more specifically, the period for which corresponding data was available. 6 In general, the following analysis differentiates between three main groups of price components (compare Figure 10 / section 6.1.5): Network charges: This component includes all regular payments for connection to and use of the system, including transmission and distribution charges, payments for system services, metering charges etc., which are charged to consumers; 7,8 Taxes, levies and surcharges: Besides taxes and other official levies, this category also includes other surcharges that are imposed by governmental / regulatory decisions. Please note that this component is limited to those costs or charges that can be directly allocated to the end-use of electricity, such as purchase obligations for energy from renewables or CHP, stranded cost levies, surcharges for public service obligations etc. It must be emphasised that these costs are not always explicitly invoiced to customers but are sometimes included in the network tariff or paid for by the generators/suppliers; As a general rule, we have therefore only considered detailed data from the time when network / use-ofsystem charges were first published as a separate price component, but not for any years before 1999 or Please note that we thus do not consider network charges paid by producers under this component. In corresponding cases, these costs are by definition part of the residual costs. Please note that the term network charges is used whenever the total of all corresponding charges, including use of the transmission and distribution system, is referred to. Conversely, the terms transmission and distribution are used when consumers have to pay separately for these services. 14

20 Residual costs ( energy component ): This final component represents the residual share of the final end-user price that cannot be allocated to either of the two other categories. It can therefore be accepted as a reasonable proxy for the price actually paid to the supplier for the energy. However, in some cases this also includes some surcharges paid by supplier/producer, which are not directly attributable to end-users. 9 Transmission, distribution Tax, levies & surcharges Network charges Other Regulated / administrated (no competition) Costs of energy Figure 10: Main components of end-user prices Energy Market-based prices (competition) Similar to final end-user prices, the different price components have been separately determined for each country and for each category of consumers. The results of this analysis are summarised in the following section. Thereafter, focus is on the impact of taxes. This part of the analysis is facilitated by the fact that EUROSTAT provides a consistent methodology across countries that takes into account different levels of taxation. Despite some remaining national variations, 10 this allows us to separate the impact of taxes on end-user prices, even over the entire 10-year period. In a second step, the other components of end user prices are then considered, i.e. primarily network charges but also the remaining levies and surcharges that are not considered as taxes within EUROSTAT data. Since significant differences exist between countries, a brief comment is made on the general trends that can be observed, whilst the detailed results for each country are presented in Appendix 2 (section 6.2) In several countries, there may be additional costs imposed on e.g. producers and/or on e.g. a lump sum basis suppliers. Whilst such elements clearly represent costs imposed by governmental/regulatory decisions, we have not considered them, unless there was a clear and transparent basis for allocating the corresponding cost to individual final customers. Many countries have adopted additional national approaches to consider the costs of renewables, stranded assets or public service obligations, sometimes considering them as taxes and sometimes not. Moreover, while these additional charges are clearly separated and allocated to end users in some countries, they are directly or indirectly included in the costs of energy and/or in transport tariffs in other countries. 15

21 In addition to the separation of different price components, the development of selected potential cost drivers, such as fuel prices, as well as the evolution of wholesale electricity prices are finally presented Overview of Price Components Based on the approach mentioned above, end-user prices have been split into different price components. This section presents the relative share of the three categories of components for the last available year (usually 2004). 11 Although it would have been desirable to consider a longer time period, the period for which the price components can be separated from the end-user prices varies considerably. Detailed information for each country, including the underlying sources and assumptions, as well as an illustration of the resulting components over time, can be found in the corresponding country sections in Appendix 2 (section 6.2). Figure 11 illustrates the share of the different price components for industrial users. Residual costs (incl. energy) clearly represent the largest part in most countries, with the exception of Denmark where taxes, levies and surcharges account for more than 60% of the total price, whilst the residual costs account for less than 20%. However, in the case of Denmark, taxes, levies and surcharges also contain purchases from priority production, which amount to a significant share of total consumption (approx. 30% - 50%) and represent more than 30% of the final end-user price. 12 When correcting for this specific aspect, 13 the residual costs clearly exceed the share of network charges in all countries, on average by a factor of 3. Nevertheless, there still remain considerable variations between different countries: The share of residual costs (including energy) ranges only as high as 40 50% in Denmark, it amounts to approx. 80% in Hungary and Greece. Similarly, the share of network charges is below 15% in e.g. Austria, Hungary or the UK, but may be as high as 33 36% in Latvia, Norway, Poland and the Czech Republic Although we have generally used 2004 as the reference year, it has not always been possible to obtain sufficient data for that year. In some cases, we have therefore had to revert to 2003 data for this part of the comparison. In addition, it should be noted that the Danish prices are based on consumers with an annual consumption of 10 GWh, i.e. not 24 GWh as for most other countries. Similarly, the prices for the other Scandinavian countries are based on lower levels of consumption (2 10 GWh). Assuming that the costs of priority production in Denmark can be split approximately evenly into taxes, surcharges and levies and the residual costs. 16

22 Similarly, Figure 11 also shows significant differences with regard to the impact of governmentally-imposed costs. As already mentioned and as further discussed in section below, explicit taxes, levies and surcharges may represent some 50% of the total price in Denmark. Similarly, some 30% of the price paid by industrial consumers in Austria and Germany can be attributed to taxes or other costs imposed by the government. In contrast, electricity consumption by industrial users is subject to no or only negligible taxation and similar costs in e.g. the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Spain. These numbers indicate significant differences with regard to the direct governmental impact on electricity prices in different countries. Finally, it should be noted that the share of taxes, levies and surcharges may well be higher in several countries since the numbers shown in Figure 11 do not take into account any other taxes or charges that are levied on generators or suppliers which cannot be easily attributed to individual consumers. In these cases, the corresponding costs are included in the residual cost component. 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Austria (24) Czech (24) Denmark (10) Finland (24) France (24) Germany (24) Greece (24) Hungary (24) Italy (24) Latvia (24) Lithuania (24) Luxembourg (24) Norway (24) Poland (24) Slovakia (average) Sweden (2-10) UK (24) Residual cost (incl.energy) Network charges Taxes, levies and surcharges Figure 11: Share of different price components in industrial end-user prices (last available year) Note: Based on national data (see Appendix); levels of consumption are mentioned in brackets (GWh). Figure 12 shows the corresponding figures for the case of household customers. On average, residual costs represent the largest component (39%), followed by network charges (35%), while taxes, levies and surcharges account for some 26%. In comparison to industrial consumers, households thus face significantly higher governmentally-imposed charges. This can obviously be explained inter alia by the fact that household prices include VAT (compare also section below). When only considering those costs associated with the electricity industry, the prices paid for use of the system by households are largely comparable to the residual element (incl. energy). This again contrasts with the corresponding numbers for industrial customers (see above). In this context, it should be noted that households are usually connected to low voltage networks, whereas the prices for industrial consumers are based on a supply from medium or high voltage networks. 17

23 Apart from the average numbers, the individual observations again vary significantly. For instance, the share of taxes, levies and surcharges varies from under 10% in the UK to over 40% in Germany, even when neglecting the special case of Denmark. Similarly, network charges account for some 20% of the total price in e.g. Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Italy, while more than 50% of the price paid by Belgian and Norwegian households can be attributed to the network charges. Finally, residual costs, including the energy cost, represent less than a quarter of the final end-user price in e.g. Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Norway, that is to say more than 75% of the final end-user price for households in these countries is determined by governmentally-imposed or regulated charges. In contrast, energy and other residual cost elements account for more than 50% of the final price in e.g. Estonia, Finland, Italy and the UK. In summary, these observations thus again reveal significant variations between different countries. 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Austria (3500) Belgium (3500) Czech (3500) Denmark (3500) Estonia (3500) Finland (3500) Germany (3500) Hungary (average) Italy (3500) Latvia (3500) Luxembourg (3500) Netherlands (3500) Norway (3500) Poland (average) Slovakia (average) Slovenia (average) Sweden (3500) UK (3500) Residual cost (incl.energy) Network charges Taxes, levies and surcharges Figure 12: Share of different price components in household end-user prices (last available year) Note: Based on national data (see Appendix); levels of consumption are mentioned in brackets (kwh). 18

24 4.3. Factors Influencing Electricity Prices Taxes EUROSTAT provides three categories of prices: (i) prices without taxes, (ii) prices without VAT, and (iii) prices including all taxes 14. Whilst no distinction is made for the share of network charges or the cost of energy, this differentiation allows an analysis of the impact of taxation at a high level. This section therefore uses EUROSTAT data to show the evolution of prices with and without taxes (and/or VAT) following EUROSTAT categorisation and the development of the share of taxes in final enduser prices. Figure 13 shows the development of the relevant indicators for industrial consumers (24 GWh) based on a weighted indicator for the EU. For most of the time, the development of end-user prices with and without taxes basically shows the same pattern, indicating largely constant tax payments. Since 2002, however, one can observe an increasing gap, with post-tax prices rising quickly, whereas pre-tax prices only show a moderate increase, or even a decrease from 2003 to This observation can also be confirmed by the relative share of taxes. While this figure remained in a relatively narrow range of some 3% 5% between 1995 and 2002, it has since risen to more than 11% in As a result, it appears that industrial consumers have recently been exposed to a significantly increased direct tax burden. Moreover, the increase in taxes obviously represents a substantial share of the total increase in end-user prices for industrial customers in recent years Please note that beside VAT, the exact definition of taxes differs amongst countries and that differences in the application of the current EUROSTAT methodology in the 25 EU member states can occur since each state has its own tax regime. As a principle, the countries are requested to put all kind of taxes into the second group of price. For additional information on this issue please refer to the new handbook published by EUROSTAT entitled Electricity price systems 2004 that provides information about the electricity price systems applied in each EU member states. Please note that the share of taxes also depends on the absolute level of pre-tax prices. 19

25 Share of taxes (%) Price without VAT Price without taxes 1995=100 for price without VAT % Countries included (12): Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, UK 2.3% 2.7% 3.8% 3.8% 4.8% 4.1% 5.2% 8.3% 11.5% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% % Figure 13: Evolution of prices and share of taxes (excl. VAT) for industrial users (24 GWh, ) Note: Based on weighted average; absolute values shown in nominal terms based on EUROSTAT Figure 14 compares the level of taxation in individual countries at the beginning (1995) and the end (2004) of the period under study based on EUROSTAT data. This depiction clearly illustrates considerable differences in (explicit) taxation, ranging between zero in e.g. Greece and Portugal and some 16% in Italy and Germany. It should be noted that these shares only relate to explicit taxes, but do not take into account any other taxes, levies or surcharges that may be implicitly included in final end-user prices. The figure indicates that industrial customers are exposed to a significantly higher direct tax burden, and thus costs, in some countries than in others. Moreover, it is interesting to note that 8 out of 10 countries that did not charge any specific taxes on electricity in 1995 had introduced corresponding taxes by In addition, the share of taxes in final end-user prices had approximately doubled in Germany, in contrast to a decreasing share of taxes in Italy. Figure 14 thus confirms that increasing taxes have obviously been an important factor explaining increasing electricity prices for industrial customers. 20

26 % 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% Greece Portugal Ireland Belgium Luxembourg UK Spain Finland France EU+Norway Norway Italy Germany Figure 14: Share of taxes (excl. VAT) for industrial users (24 GWh, 1995 vs. 2004) based on EUROSTAT Note: Share of taxes does not include any other levies and surcharges (in contrast to Figure 11); Norwegian data obviously based on full energy consumption fee of 9.67 Oere/kWh (reduced rate for industry: 0.45 Oere/kWh) As illustrated by Figure 15, taxes represent a significantly higher share of household electricity prices than is the case for industrial customers. This can also be explained inter alia by the fact that VAT is also taken into account in this case. Nevertheless, in contrast to industrial users, a notable difference can be seen in the development of pre-tax as opposed to post-tax prices. Whilst nominal post-tax prices have largely remained stable, pre-tax prices show a clear and constant downward trend. For the selection of countries shown in Figure 15, total payments (per kwh) to the electricity industry, including the costs of energy and the network, thus seem to have decreased by some 5%. This observation is confirmed as, in a situation of nearly constant post-tax prices, the share of tax rose from 18.5% in 1995 to almost 24% in 2004, i.e. by almost a third of its original value or 5.5% of total end user prices. 16 Our analysis thus indicates that, had governments not increased taxes on electricity consumption, households would have seen considerable benefits from decreasing electricity prices over the past 10 years. 16 Please note the marked increase of more than 2% from 1999 to

27 Share of taxes (%) Price all taxes included Price without taxes 1995=100 for price all taxes included % 18.4% 19.3% 19.7% 19.8% 22.0% 22.1% 23.0% 23.7% 23.8% 25% 24% 23% 22% 21% 20% 19% 18% 17% 16% % Figure 15: Evolution of prices and share of taxes (incl. VAT) for households (3,500 kwh, ) Note: Based on EUROSTAT aggregated indicator for EU 15; absolute values shown in nominal terms based on EUROSTAT To supplement the analysis at EU level, Figure 16 again compares the share of taxes in individual countries in 1995 and Similar to the case of industrial consumers, this figure shows major differences, with the level of taxation ranging from approx. 5% in Portugal and the UK, on the one hand, to some 60% in Denmark. In some countries, taxes thus represent a major, if not the major share of final end user electricity prices. Again, one can observe an increasing share of electricityspecific taxes, or the introduction of corresponding taxes in most countries. The only exceptions are France, the UK and Greece, where the share of taxes has (slightly) decreased. In contrast, household customers in Austria and Netherlands have been exposed to a dramatic increase in taxation. Overall, Figure 16 thus confirms that increasing taxes have obviously also been an important factor in preventing a fall in end user prices. 22

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