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How true is Orbán’s claim that utility prices doubled in the EU over the past year?

picture of electric meter

Népszava takes a look at Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s claim, stated in a Christmas interview in daily Magyar Nemzet, that “the prices of utilities for European families doubled over the past year,” and does not find that the data supports it.

The paper examined monthly data on European utility prices provided by the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority and found that the average cost of electricity in 27 Europen cities, plus London and Belgrade, grew by only 23% between November 2020 and November 2021. Natural gas, meawhile, grew by an average of 57% over the same period in 26 cities.

While these are indeed steep increases, they are nowhere near the 100% growth in prices the Prime Minister appeared to suggest.

Moreover, the Prime Minister’s statement that Hungary was the only “exception” to the trend of higher utility prices in the EU was also not completely accurate, according to Népszava.

While utility prices stayed the same in Budapest due to the government’s utility price cut policies, the cost of electricity actually decreased by 18% in Amsterdam and by 8.6% in Warsaw, while residents of Bratislava enjoyed 6.3% cheaper natural gas prices. Several European cities also saw lower natural gas prices in November compared to the month prior.

[Népszava]

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