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Energy prices still at record highs: gas is 119 percent more expensive than a year ago

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Energy prices remained at record levels and were the key drivers of inflation. November figures indicate a slight easing in fuel prices, at least in the short term, while the upward trend in pellet prices is likely to have stopped for the time being. Compared to September, household energy was 1.6 percent more expensive. The inflation rate was 11.0 percent in October, compared to September this year, the consumer price index increased by 1.0 percent.

According to the Energy Agency, the wholesale markets for electricity and gas have calmed down again after a turbulent summer. However, the price level is still significantly higher than before the start of the Ukraine war or the corona pandemic.

More price increases

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At the same time, many providers continued to announce further price increases. “Here, the price distortions of the last few months do not seem to have been fully passed on to all customers,” said Franz Angerer, Managing Director of the Energy Agency, according to the press release. “In any case, the prices for energy remain extremely high across all energy sources.” Therefore, the economical use of energy and the use of energy efficiency potential are still the most important measures for households and companies.

In October, the price of pellets and gas increased the most compared to the year before. Electricity and petrol showed the smallest increases.

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After a short downward trend, the prices for premium petrol rose again slightly in September. They were 1.4 percent higher in October than in September. Compared to October last year, premium petrol was 27.5 percent more expensive – a 50-liter tank filling cost just over 85 euros, which is 20 euros more than a year ago. Diesel has become more expensive: the price rose by 48.6 percent year-on-year and by 4.6 percent month-on-month. A typical diesel tank filling cost an average of just under 100 euros in October. Fuels are the most important component in the Energy Price Index (EPI).

Electricity prices have increased the least

Electricity prices were around a quarter (24.8 percent) higher than a year ago and thus showed the smallest increase of all energy sources. Compared to September, electricity was even 6.8 percent cheaper. The energy agency explains that there were two opposing developments on the end customer market. On the one hand, energy prices from existing customer contracts will continue to be increased across the board. On the other hand, lower wholesale prices compared to the summer mean that float tariffs and tariffs offered to new customers have eased.

With a price increase of 119 percent, gas showed the second highest rate of increase after pellets in a year-on-year comparison. Compared to September, natural gas was 5.6 percent more expensive. District heating cost 61.5 percent more than a year ago and was unchanged from the previous month. Heating oil increased in price by 94.5 percent compared to October 2021 and by 6.4 percent compared to September this year.

The price of wood pellets rose 163.4 percent year-on-year and 7.1 percent month-on-month. Firewood cost 81.7 percent more than in October 2021 and 10.5 percent more than in September 2022. According to Energy Agency energy market expert Karina Knaus, the increased demand for pellets is still causing prices to rise. Many wanted to get out of fossil heating systems and switch to biomass such as pellets. Stockpiling also took place in October. On the other hand, on the supply side, it will take some time before capacities can be expanded. “From the November data for pellet prices, we can at least see that the upward trend has stopped because most consumers’ warehouses are full. However, it remains to be seen how sustainable this development is.”

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