Power fees top EU

Denmark takes EU gold medal in highest taxes and fees on electricity bills

While oil prices climb steadily, statistics show that Denmark tops the list of EU countries when it comes to taxes and charges on electricity bills

When Danish electricity customers pay DKK 100 to their power company, DKK 58 ends up in the state treasury. Meanwhile people in other EU countries, in contrast, pay a mere average of DKK 20 in taxes on a bill equal to DKK 100.

A household that uses an average of 3500 kWh a year, will pay some DKK 3600 in taxes and extra charges event though that Danish electricity prices stripped of government fingerprints are among the lowest in the member countries.

Denmark's number one ranking on the list has the Association of Danish Energy Companies (ADEC) discussing the need for a reorganisation of energy fees. Among the other countries on the top five were Holland, Sweden, Austria and Italy, while Great Britain and Greece were among the least expensive.

'If having an efficient energy sector is going to benefit consumers and companies, we need to overhaul the tax and fee system,' said Anders Hertz Ørsted, a consultant from ADEC, to daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Ørsted said that despite the climbing price of oil per barrel, neither the government nor the opposition have made a move to adjust energy taxes. However, ADEC is confident that a change is on the way, according to Ørsted.

'Rising energy rates makes the situation ripe for change. At some point the taxes are going to reach a level where it hurts the consumers. It will be the growing energy rates that politicians will have to look at,' said Ørsted.

Government support party the Danish People's Party acknowledges that the energy prices are approaching the threshold of what consumers can handle. Tina Pedersen, energy spokesperson for the party, said that at some point, the government is going to have to re-examine its policies.

'There is a need for reorganising the system. Of course there are concerns that the prices will skyrocket and that we will fail to serve either the business world or everyday people better than we do today,' said Pedersen.

Pedersen would not say whether a reorganisation of taxes and fees was synonymous with lower energy prices.

The number one placing for Denmark yet another examination of where Danish electricity customers stand. A recent article by Jyllands-Posten revealed that the deregulation of the Danish energy market in 1998 was an usually expensive event for customers.

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