Belgians pay world's third-highest electricity bills

Belgians pay world's third-highest electricity bills
Credit: Belga

Belgian households pay the third-highest electricity bills in the world, a recent study by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found.

The report noted that only citizens of Germany and Denmark paid more for electricity in 2021, the latest year for which there is global data. Belgium was also found to be just one of five countries in which households paid more than $300 (around €285) per megawatt hour (MWh) for electricity.

Credit: IEA

The IEA's results were corroborated by another study published earlier this year by Eurostat, the EU's official statistics office, which found that Belgian households paid the most for electricity in the EU in the second half of 2022, second only to Denmark.

Credit: Eurostat

Electricity prices in Belgium have almost doubled over the last few years, from €0.1976 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in the second half of 2018 to €0.3791 per kWh in the latter half of last year.

Gas prices have also soared, nearly tripling from €0.0495 per kWh to €0.1266 per kWh over the same period. Energy prices across much of the rest of the world have grown at similarly alarming rates.

The IEA attributed the surge in electricity prices to supply-chain bottlenecks triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

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"Global supply chains of all kinds have faced various barriers and bottlenecks in recent years," the agency noted. "The Covid-19 pandemic and [Russia's] invasion of Ukraine critically disrupted global energy and technology supply chains."

In yet another indication of the global impact of both the pandemic and the ongoing war, the IEA noted that "for the first time in decades" the number of people without access to electricity increased from 2021 to 2022, from 754 to 774 million.

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