POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Cost of living

Taxes have pushed up Luxembourg’s natural gas bills



Luxembourg consumers saw noticeably rising natural gas bills in the first half of the year, but electricity bills rose more modestly than in many EU countries. Library picture: Windmills seen in Hosingen. Photo credit: Christophe Francois / Shutterstock

Luxembourg consumers saw noticeably rising natural gas bills in the first half of the year, but electricity bills rose more modestly than in many EU countries. Library picture: Windmills seen in Hosingen. Photo credit: Christophe Francois / Shutterstock

Electricity prices in the first six months of 2021 were a mere one-tenth of a percent higher in Luxembourg than in the first six months of 2020, compared to 2.6% higher for the whole EU. But gas prices gained 6% in Luxembourg, compared to a -1% drop across the entire bloc.

Electricity prices across the entire EU rose from €21.34 per 100kWh in the first half of 2020 to €21.92 per 100kWh in the first half of 2021, according to Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency. The increase was less pronounced in the grand duchy. Electricity for household consumers in Luxembourg went from €19.86 to €19.88 per 100kWh over the same time period.

Prices went up more substantially in Slovenia (+15%), Poland (+8%) and Romania (+7%), while they dropped in the Netherlands (-10%), Cyprus (-7%) and Lithuania (-6%).

On the other hand, natural gas prices fell slightly across the entire EU, Eurostat said on 20 October. Comparing January-June 2020 and January-June 2021, gas declined from €6.45 to €6.39 per 100kWh in the EU27. However, in Luxembourg, gas--cheaper than the EU average--went from €4.12 to €4.38 per 100kWh.

Eurostat said that “taxes triggered” the increased gas costs in Luxembourg, as well as in Germany.

Taxes and levies represented 39% of total electricity bills across the EU; the figure was about 26% in Luxembourg in the first half of 2021. Taxes and levies made up 36% of total gas bills across the EU; the figure was roughly 19% in Luxembourg.

Eurostat stated: “More recently, wholesale prices for electricity and gas are increasing substantially across the EU,” but the agency has not yet released third quarter figures.