ECONOMY

Local electricity charges among lowest in the EU

Greece had the third-lowest charges for electricity of all European Union states in the second half of last year, according to data released on Wednesday by Eurostat.

This was despite the fact that electricity charges in Greece rose by as much as 17 percent from 2009 to 2010, which was the third-highest increase across the bloc. The average annual increase in EU electricity rates came to 5.1 percent, the data showed. Comparisons are made based on purchasing power.

In absolute terms, Greece?s rate of 12.11 euros per 100 kilowatt-hours is the fifth lowest in the EU. It was only beaten by Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Romania.

Electricity charges are set to increase from 2013, when the free rights to carbon dioxide emissions by power plants comes to an end, according to EU law. The cost of this will be rolled over to consumers.