Consumers trying to compare electricity prices across much of Europe may be in for a bit of sticker shock, no matter which market they are examining. According to the BBC and The Guardian, recent studies show that electricity costs are rising at an alarming rate.

Energy prices vary widely

Although most of Europe has seen electricity prices rise significantly over the last three years, there still remains big differences among how much countries pay for electricity. For example, Helsinki is at the very bottom of the list, paying an average of €11.43 per kilowatt hour. Berlin is at the top, paying €28.49 per kilowatt hour. The overall average across much of Europe is €20.34 per kilowatt hour.

What’s interesting is how widely the percentage of energy as a part of the overall electric bill can vary. The BBC reports that in the U.K., energy including margins is 58%, while taxes are 11%. However, in Copenhagen, less than one-fifth of electric bills actually comes from the price of energy. Taxes make up over half of the average electric bill.

European homes unable to afford heating

Studies show that people in several European countries are unable to afford to heat their homes adequately. Between 20% and 30% of people in Italy, Portugal, and Greece and a few other countries can’t afford to pay the high electricity costs required to heat their homes enough. In Turkey and three other countries in the region, roughly a third or more of consumers can’t afford to pay for enough electricity to heat their homes well enough. In Bulgaria, the number of consumers who can’t afford enough heating is nearly 50%.

Some Europeans are running behind on paying their electricity bills because of the high costs. Nearly one-third of Greeks are running behind. The percentage of Croatians, Romanians and Latvians is also significantly high, ranging from 28% in Croatia to 23% in Latvia.