Utility bills rose sharply in countries neighboring Hungary

By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

While in Hungary the population only indirectly perceives the rise in energy prices, those living in the surrounding countries are facing rising electricity and gas prices on the world market this year due to overhead costs.

As a result, in 2022, the gap between electricity and gas prices in Hungary and other EU member states will continue to increase, as Hungarian state-regulated prices will not change.

Polish consumers are forced to suffer the sharpest price increases in the Visegrád region — electricity bills in the country of 38 million are estimated to increase by an average of 24 percent and gas bills by 54 percent from Jan. 1.

Steep price increases are also seen in Slovakia, where from January onward household overheads will also increase significantly. The electricity and natural gas markets in the country have not been fully liberalized, so prices paid by the population are regulated by the government.

The country’s Economy Minister Richard Sulík announced in October that gas will cost €22 per megawatt hour in 2022, up from €16 last year. Gas bills in Slovakia also consist of several components, and in the estimates of Hungarian-language news portal Parameter, the overall gas supply fee will increase by 24 percent.

Residential electricity prices will also rise from January, with an average household expecting a 15 percent rise in electricity bills in Slovakia. This means an additional cost of up to €4 a month for most families compared to last year’s prices.

In the Czech Republic, the retail energy market is less regulated, which could lead to different rates of price increases within the country. The third-largest power distributor, PRE, which serves 800,000 consumers, raised electricity prices as early as September, causing an average Prague household’s electricity bill to rise by 7 percent. The company’s example was followed by smaller service providers, while ČEZ, which is considered to be the largest player, assured households in the autumn that it would maintain its previous prices, but will increase the electricity bills of most consumers by a third from January this year.

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