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European Community (Energy Costs)

Volume 987: debated on Friday 27 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list in the Official Report, those European Economic

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for the previous five years the average cost of buying a home for owner-occupation and the average monthly repayment at a common date in each year for a 25 year mortgage of 90 per cent. or some other suitable figure for the purpose of comparison.

The average house prices, and the average costs of buying a home, in the years 1975–79 were as follows:Assuming an advance of 90 per cent. of the average purchase price and taking the mortgage rate as that recommended by the Building Societies Association prevailing at the mid-point of each year, the average gross monthly mortgage repayments were as follows:Community countries which subsidise energy and electricity costs charged to industry; and if he will specify their nature and amount.

I do not have details of specific subsidies, if any, granted to industrial consumers of energy and electricity within the EEC. Prices in different countries are, however, influenced by a number of factors and it is important in today's circumstances that they should be set at realistic levels. At the EEC Council of Energy Ministers on 13 May, all member States accepted the importance of economic pricing of energy based on the principle that prices to consumers should reflect conditions on the world market and should be related in particular to the cost of replacing and developing energy resources.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list in the Official Report, on a comparable basis in terms of energy units, the cost of heavy fuel oil, natural gas, coal, anthracite and electricity, in the United Kingdom and other European Economic Community countries.

Up-to-date information on fuel prices for each member country of the EEC is not available for most of the fuels mentioned. The latest available information for which comparisons are possible both nationally and internationally is tabled below and relates to prices in force on 1 January 1978. Data for Denmark and Luxembourg are not readily available.In making international comparisons it must be borne in mind that difficulties can arise in times of rising prices. Further complications arise when exchange rates fluctuate and national currencies are sometimes regarded as over or undervalued. There can, moreover, be wide ranges of prices within countries.It should also be borne in mind that valid comparisons cannot be made between the prices of fuels within a given country solely on a thermal unit basis, since account also needs to be taken of the various thermal efficiencies of the appliances used.

Following is the information:

FUEL PRICES, 1 JANUARY 1978
£/ 107 Kilocalories(l)

Industrial

Domestic

Heavy Fuel Oil(2)

Gas(3)

Steam coal

Electricity(4)

Gas(3)

Anthracite(6)

Electricity(7)

Belgium56*9165265252113564
Denmark
France47684121118373430
Germany5166236111*525
Ireland7223795341
Italy454834227*79*76*455*
Netherlands51663327598117513
Luxembourg
United Kingdom5570442119770323

*Estimate.

Source: OECD Publication "Energy Statistics 1974–78".

  • (1)The prices are shown for units of 107 kilocalories (tonnes of oil equivalent) which is the usual unit for international comparisons where allowances need to be made for differing calorific values between countries.
  • (2)Prices are based on an annual consumption of 5,000 tonnes (which is relatively low for the United Kingdom Industries).
  • (3)Prices are based on an annual consumption of 30,000 therms.
  • (4)Prices are based on an annual consumption of 15 Gwh.
  • (5)Prices are based on an annual consumption of 200 therms.
  • (6)Prices are based on deliveries of 500 kilo lots.
  • (7)Prices are based on an annual consumption of 3,600 Kwh.