Expats who've moved to Cyprus in search of a cheaper Mediterranean lifestyle, have had a nasty shock this year. Consumer electricity prices are at an all time high, it was revealed in a recent survey. This news comes when unemployment has also hit record levels on the island.
It is estimated that Cyprus pays around 26 percent more than the average EU country, making their rates the highest within the European Union. Latest statistics show that people in Cyprus are paying 0.17 euros per kilowatt per hour (kWh) on average. These high prices are only matched by Malta, and are significantly more than other EU countries. Rates in both the UK and Ireland are actually estimated to be lower at just 0.13 kWh and 0.15 kWh. This is surely bad news for expats, many of whom left the UK in a bid to save money.
A further 6.96 percent price levy has also been added since these stats were released, causing expats to despair over living costs. These extra charges were introduced earlier this year after an explosion in Vasiliko last July. The incident affected the islands main power station, causing thousands of euros worth of damages, and is thought to be behind the price hikes.
Rises in rates aren't set to stop there either, as new price increases have only just been announced with an additional climb in VAT expected. It has been reported that following these changes, a one bedroom apartment may receive a bill as high as 560 euros.
This is hardly news to many Cypriot households, many of whom are used to paying above average prices. Euro stats show that electric prices have been on a steady increase since 2007, consistently appearing within the top 3.
In stark contrast, statistics from 2005 actually put Cyprus below average. It is these 2005 figures that most Brits likely associate with Cyprus, only finding out the actual costs once arriving on the island.
It is expected to hit retirees the hardest. The majority of expats move to Cyprus for retirement, and therefore live off their savings and pensions. It is unlikely these costs were taken into consideration as many expats are finding themselves in debt.
The Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) have fought back, pointing out that Cyprus is a small island with limited resources so prices will be higher. The EAC also blame high EU fines for using fossils fuels which help generate power for the island.
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