Renewables and domestic energy, lessons from Europe, Part 5
This is the European Commission's comparison of household gas prices in early 2008, by purchasing power parity:
Source: European Commission, DG TREN Staff Working Document, Report on Progress in Creating the Internal Gas and Electricity Market (11/3/1009, SEC(2009) 287)
Could the cheapness of heating with gas (and the wide coverage of the gas network) in the UK be in some way related to the low level of displacement of gas in households by other, greener forms of energy? And could the low cost of wasting gas-fired heat have something to do with the poor standards of insulation, glazing and energy-efficiency in this country? Or are these irrelevant, as politicians, civil servants, consumer groups, some economists, and the Vertically-Integrated Large Energy (VILE) companies would have us believe?
But before we answer that, let's have a look at prices in 2007, as they show trends and include an important country (Denmark) whose data were not available when the Commission was preparing the above graph.