Budapest maintains its leading position in the ranking of the European capitals that claim the cheapest energy prices. In May, the average price of electricity in Hungary was 10.85 euro cents per kilowatt-hours (kWh) while the price of gas averaged around 2.96 euro cents per kWh. With these prices, Budapest secured its first position in terms of energy prices among the European Union capitals.
A recent study of the Hungarian Energy and Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (MEKH), Energie-Control Austria and VaasaETT observing the evolution of residential electricity and gas prices across Europe showed that Berlin and Stockholm were the most expensive cities in Europe for household energy prices. The average price of electricity costs three times more in the German capital than in Hungary. In Sweden, residential consumers have to pay seven times as much for natural gas as in Budapest.
The report notes that in nominal terms, prices in the capital cities of Central and Eastern Europe continue to be lower than average. Prague and Warsaw are the only capital cities among the CEE countries in which the price of electricity is above the European average.
When adjusted to purchasing power standards (PPS), showing thus energy prices in relation to the cost of other goods and services, the lowest adjusted household electricity prices are found in Helsinki and the highest in Warsaw, Prague and Berlin.
Most CEE countries end up with electricity prices which are relatively high compared to the general level of prices in the country and above the European average. Budapest, however, is still well below the European average.
Households in other CEE capitals such as Vienna, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Bucharest also paid more for electricity. The average cost in Austria, for example, was double of the Hungarian price, 20.99 euro cents/kWh. Vienna also had the highest average price of natural gas for residential customers in the region with an average cost of 7.03 euro cents per kWh.
Even more pronounced than for electricity, household natural gas is cheapest in the CEE countries. The report notes that due to the current state of the economy and the impact of COVID-19 measures, the prices of the natural gas market were kept at low levels following the trendline of the past few months.