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Electricity, Water and Council Tax Costs in Cyprus

Utility prices are one of the major considerations for anyone moving to Cyprus. Electricity costs rose considerably during 2011, while water and council tax charges stayed relatively stable.

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Many expatriates complain about Cypriot Electricity Prices. However...

 
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It's true that during 2011 the price of electricity in Cyprus rose significantly, not least due to the events at the Vasilikos Power Station near Zygi in July. The average annual bill, however, is still slightly lower than in the UK.

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Electricity, Water & Council Tax

According to the Daily Telegraph, in a report published during July 2011, the average annual electricity bill in the United Kingdom now runs at £493.00 per year [1]. At this point in time (March 2012). this runs to approximately €596.00 per annum. By contrast, the average annual electricity bill in the Republic of Cyprus currently runs at €590.00 [2].

Now it has to be said that electricity costs in the Republic of Cyprus* (€0.20 per kw/h with average fuel surcharges) are actually higher than they are in the UK (€0.175 per kw/h), so we get quite a few people asking us how Cypriot average bills could possibly be lower than British ones. The answer is simple: "We use less of the stuff over here." Sure, we have a couple of hot months, and we'll get hit with high bills because we're using air conditioning, and we have a couple of cold months when we have to put the heating on, but the rest of the year the average household in Cyprus doesn't actually use that much electricity.

In 2011, how many households in Britain do you know of that had to use their heating by late August? A lot... This does not happen in Cyprus, so the average energy consumption is substantially lower on the island.

The simple fact is -and remains - that living in Cyprus really is substantially cheaper than it is in the UK. Yes, bread might be a couple of pence more expensive, and so might tomatoes, but the overall cost of life is cheaper here than it is in most of Europe. Don't just take our word for it; carry out your own research and you'll see for yourself.

* All figures on this page are correct as of March 12th 2012.

Electricity Costs

The Cyprus Electricity Authority issues its bills on a bi-monthly basis. Charges are incremental, which is to say that the cost per kWh increases with consumption, and the average houshold bill amounts to about €590.00 a year.

Since Cypriot power stations are fossil-fuel driven, there's also something called a fuel-adjustment surcharge. This is based on the prevailing cost of oil, and is passed on to customers on a per-kWh basis with every bill. In real terms, this has added around five cents to the cost of every kilowatt hour of electricity consumed during 2011, because of ever inflating oil prices.

Below you'll find the incremental charges per kilowatt hour, based on consumption, as of March 2012:

Up to 120kWh   €0.1552*
121kWh - 320kWh   €0.1646
321kWh - 400kWh   €0.1697
401kWh - 900kWh   €0.1746
901kWh or more   €0.1794

* Charges quoted include 15% VAT, but do not include the fuel-price surcharge, which varies from bill to bill.

 

Water Costs

Much like electricity, water is billed incrementally in Cyprus. The first ten cubic metres will cost you so much, the next five a little more, and so on.

With billls issued quarterly, the average water cost in Cyprus runs to about €180 - €220 per annum. Compare that to the average bill in the UK, which is about £356 (€416) [3], and it's already looking cheap. However, once you take into account the fact that about 40% of the properties on the island come with either private or communal swimming pools, this figure quite frankly becomes ridiculous.

Below are the average figures charged per cubic metre, based on consumption, as of March 2012:

1 - 10   €1.03
11 - 15   €1.11
16 - 20   €1.28
21 - 30   €1.37
31 - 50   €1.54
51 - 60   €1.62
61+   €2.05

The Cyprus Electricity Generating Authority has also announced a 5% price increase, effective from the beginning of January 2012. This across-the-board rise is being implemented to cover repair costs at the crippled Vasilikos power station near Zygi on the island's south coast.

Yet another new surcharge...

What's more, the government has now unaimously approved the passing of yet another surcharge to be added to Cypriot electricity bills, this time to fund the Republic's renewable energy policy. We'll bring you more about this as things unfold, so stay tuned.

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Council Tax Bills

Perhaps the greatest of all the differences in living expenses between Britain and Cyprus can be found in the Republic's equivalent to council tax.

According to the UK government's 'Communities' website [4], the average British council tax bill amounted to a staggering £1,484.00 (€1,734.00) in 2011, with substantial increases predicted for the 2012 financial year. By contrast, the average Cypriot council tax bill for the coming year rolls out at around €250.00 (£214.00 approx.), including the Refuse Tax supplement.

For this amount you can expect a similar sort of service from your local government than you would in the UK. You can also expect at least two rubbish collections per week (three in urban areas), along with a much more personalised approach by most municipalities towards their residents.

All in all, and despite what some expatriates may be claiming, the cost of living in Cyprus is still substantially lower than its UK equivalent, not least due to the overall differences in utility and local tax levels.
 

Sources:

  1. Daily Telegraph, Rowena Mason & David Barrett, Jul 9th 2011
  2. Cyprus Electricity Authority Nov 12th 2011
  3. The Guardian citing OffWat
  4. Communities and Local Government UK

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