Household energy costs soar up

Austrian households’ energy expenditure continues to climb, new figures show.The Federal Energy Agency announced today (Mon) that Austrians had to pay 8.9 per cent more for the same energy goods and services last December than in the same month of 2009.The authority’s Energy Price Index (EPI) – which also takes car fuel rates into account – shows that the price of diesel petrol soared by 16.5 per cent year on year while regular car fuel was 12.2 per cent more expensive in December 2010 than in the same month of 2009.The latest EPI statistic also reveals that heating oil cost 24.1 per cent more year on year last December, while the average price charged for one kilowatt of electricity edged up by one per cent. Firewood was 0.9 per cent more expensive, while the average price of gas remained almost equal as well (plus 1.2 per cent), the agency announced.These figures show that diesel fuel prices also rose from November 2010 to the next month (plus 4.2 per cent). The EPI also reveals a monthly five per cent price jump for heating oil, while regular car fuel was 3.6 per cent more expensive in December than in the previous month.The December figures mean that Austrian households were forced to spend 7.6 per cent more in 2010 if they purchased the same energy products as in 2009.The year on year inflation would have been at a level of 1.6 per cent instead of the registered 2.3 per cent in December 2010 had there not been an immense surge in prices for car fuel, heating oil and other mineral oil products.The Federal Mineral Oil Association FVMI said earlier this month Austrians bought more diesel fuel last year regardless of the soaring prices.The organisation said petrol stations and industrial petrol providers sold 7.3 billion litres of diesel petrol in 2010, 3.7 per cent more than the year before. The FVMI also announced 2.4 billion litres of regular car fuel were sold at the same time, down by 1.7 per cent year on year.Petrol stations in Austria are charging an average 1.25 Euros for one litre of diesel petrol and 1.28 Euros for the same amount of regular car fuel this morning, according to motorist association ÖAMTC.