INTRODUCING THE HOUSEHOLD ENERGY PRICE INDEX
Europe’s most up-to-date picture of European household electricity and gas prices: VaasaETT and two leading European energy market authorities to collaborate to track monthly energy prices in 23 European countries.
To correct for a persistent lack of current, frequently updated and methodologically reliable information on household prices for both electricity and gas at the European level, the Austrian energy regulator Energie Control Austria and VaasaETT started compiling and publishing the Household Energy Price Index (HEPI) as well as price-ranking in the EU-15 on a monthly basis in January 2009. The methodology is designed in such a way that “HEPI prices” reflect prices paid by typical residential customers and assess overall price developments in Europe.
Early on, it became obvious that the Index should be extended to more countries in order to meet its primary goal to improve energy price transparency for European households. To that regard, VaasaETT has been commissioned by the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority to expand the coverage of HEPI to eight large Central and Eastern European countries: Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. Our price survey includes 23 of the 28 EU member countries (Croatia joined in the summer of 2013) in addition to Serbia who is a full candidate to membership and expected to join in 2014. As a result, HEPI will encompass over 500 million households representing 97% of the “EU-28″ population. The first public release of the HEPI index including Central and Eastern European countries is scheduled for this autumn.
Within four years of existence, our index has reached a very wide audience. Illustrating its value to numerous stakeholders, about 150 organisations worldwide subscribed to receive the free monthly update, ranging from regulatory and government bodies, utilities, IT companies, research centres, consultancies, journalists and others from Europe, but also from Australia, North America and the Middle East. Our study is also meeting some of its primary goals, which are to enable and promote price transparency in an industry which may arguably lack some and enhance price comparability at the European level. Finally, HEPI is increasingly being used by national regulators, journalists and consumer groups to compare and discuss energy prices in their respective countries or at the European level. HEPI has for instance recently been used extensively by ACER and the CEER in their first annual Monitoring Report and is used regularly by the DG Energy at the European Commission for their quarterly reports on energy markets.