Energy prices vary a great deal across the world and the US and the EU are some of the largest consumers of energy. However, the price that you pay depends a great deal on exactly where you are and the provider that you are using.
US Energy Costs
Within the US there are 50 states and each one has several providers of electricity. The cost that is paid will depend upon how the energy is generated and the various taxes within the state. In some states residents are lucky enough to be paying as little as five cents per kilowatt hour of electricity while others may find that they are paying as much as 98 cents. The average cost across the country is around 15 cents per kilowatt hour, slightly higher than 2011.
At the moment the cost of domestic gas in the US is fairly low. One of the reasons for this is that there is often more gas available than is needed and this can help to keep the costs down. In addition in recent years the demand from the public has barely fluctuated and much of the gas produced is used to create electricity.
EU Energy Costs
Within the EU there are also differences. Some countries do not have a variety of providers. There are instances when the electricity system is regulated and run by the government, so that is who you would pay your bill to.
Other countries have one provider in each region so you still have no choice about who your provider is to be. This means that you also have no control over the price that you pay.
EU Gas Imports
There are several European countries where gas is not used in the home except in bottled form and this is supplied by retailers rather than an energy company. The cost of domestic gas in Europe is affected by the supplier.
Many countries, the UK included, now have to import their domestic natural gas and this leads to higher prices. This also means that the end user is at the mercy of the third party supplier when it comes to the actual supply. Russia is currently supplying a lot of gas to European nations and strikes and other issues have affected supplies in the recent past.
In countries such as the UK there are several service providers and you have the right to choose the one that you want. This means that you can shop around for the best price for you and there are often deals and incentives to encourage consumers to change providers.
It may be that you are asked to commit to a contract in order to take advantage of the deals but you can often save money by switching regularly to the best deals. This applies to providers of domestic gas as well as electricity.
In recent months the cost of both gas and electricity has risen in the UK. This has caused problems as many of the larger companies are also making very large profits so the public are finding it hard to understand how a price rise is justified.
Making Small Savings
In all countries the importance of keeping energy bills down is being promoted. As we are all becoming more aware of climate change we are all being asked to take small steps to reduce energy consumption and many of the energy companies have active programmes to make homes more energy efficient.
We all need to compare fuel prices across the suppliers available to us in order to save a bit on our fuel bills.
This can only be of benefit to all users in the US and the EU as the trend for rising costs is set to continue as energy companies look to maximise profits.