Households in Belgium and Germany are paying the most for electricity across the European Union, research by a government agency has found. (EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND)


Belgians and Germans pay the EU’s highest electricity bills


Households in Belgium and Germany pay twice as much for electricity as Poland, a German government research body says.

Energy price rises have particularly squeezed small to mid-sized homes in the two countries in the first half of 2023.

In Belgium, homes using less than 5,000 kWh of electricity a year pay an average of 45.59 cents per kWh, the German Federal Statistical Office finds.

This is much more than similarly-sized houses in nuclear-powered France, which only pay 27.35 cent per kWh.

It is also more than double what Poles pay for homes that size, which is as little as 19.92 cents a kWh.

Households in the statelet of Liechtenstein pay the most for electricity within the European Economic Community, at an average of 46.35 cent.

The results of the study provoke anger from Die Linke, Germany’s socialist party which asked the statistics office to compile the report..

“Almost all European countries have done better,” says Dietmar Bartsch, chair of the party’s Bundestag group.

Germany should implement “basic quotas” for electricity in the country, he says.

The data show price controls implemented by the country’s centre-left government do not go far enough, he adds.

Other parties argue high energy prices cannot be regulated away, however.

Decades of green energy policies since the Merkel era have also raised energy prices, as well as increasing inflation.

Germany’s governments largely refrained from investing in domestic fossil fuel production, and instead imported oil and gas from Russia.

With those imports cut off after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany increasingly struggles to keep the lights on. It relies now on older, brown coal power stations to keep power its energy grid.

While authorities so far have avoided rolling blackouts, the crisis damaged Germany’s manufacturing sector badly.

A recent study finds two in three companies operating in Germany are now looking to relocate at least some of their operations abroad to save money.