Power Price Pain

Which nations are feeling electric bill shock the most?

James McCay

Mar 11, 2024

Everyone is feeling the squeeze when it comes to electricity bills. It can be easy to feel like price rises are ludicrous, and it can be enough to make us wonder if people in other parts of the world are experiencing the same thing too.

But is the grass (or electricity bill) always greener on the other side?

As experts in comparing energy plans and helping Australians save on their household bills, we wanted to take a look at countries across the world to see which ones were experiencing the heftiest electricity costs in comparison to average income, and which are seeing the highest rate of people searching online for tips to save on electricity.

We’ve analysed the data for 20 countries to form an electricity price pain index, creating a score out of 10 that weights both factors equally – the higher the score, the worse things are when it comes to the cost of electricity for people.

Here are the results.

The electricity price pain index


Average electricity cost to annual income ratio Energy saving related query search volume per capitaIndex score
New Zealand16%1.953.68

Feeling the squeeze from electricity bills? Here are our top tips

For people who are experiencing financial difficulties from their energy bills, Compare the Market’s Head of Energy, Meredith O’Brien, explains how people can reduce their electricity costs.

“There are basic steps we could all be a little better at, such as turning devices off at the wall to avoid using standby power, and making sure we are turning lights and other devices off when we don’t need them,” Ms O’Brien said.

“But there are other ways to reduce costs, too. Upgrading to more energy efficient appliances can help you save on electricity, as can adding insulation to your home’s walls, roof or by replacing the windows with a double-glazed option. Not only can this reduce electricity costs, but it can also make the home easier to warm or cool as needed.

“Heating and cooling devices use a lot more power than lights, televisions and computers do, so anything we can do to avoid using them by dressing up snug in winter or by having better insulation will help save on energy usage, and thus reduce your electricity bill.”

Many of O’Brien’s tips revolve around being smarter with our energy usage, but also about understanding how our energy plans work.

“There are different types of electricity tariffs, which can impact your bill in different ways. Some might charge a flat rate, while others will charge you more during busy periods. Learning how to plan your energy usage around your electricity tariff can help you save some money too.

“Lastly, you may be able to compare electricity if you’re in a de-regulated market, where you have multiple options for electricity providers. Compare their plans by price, tariff type and other features or benefits. If you find a more suitable deal, you can switch over to save money.”


To calculate the estimated average annual cost of electricity, we found the average electricity tariff in US$ per kilowatt-hour (kWh), and the average annual kWh electricity usage per person using the latest available data, which covered the 2022 calendar year. The cost was multiplied by the usage to get the average annual cost figure. This was then compared to the average annual income to provide a cost ratio as a percentage of annual income for each country, converted into USD using Google’s currency converter tool on 25/01/2024.

The energy saving related query search volume used Ahrefs to view the top five terms and their average monthly search volume for the phrase “save electricity”. For non-English speaking countries, the phrase “save electricity” was translated into the native language, and both the English and non-English phrase were used. Whichever language had the highest search volume was then chosen for that specific country.

These top five search volumes were added together and compared against each nation’s population to create a search rate per 100,000 people.

To calculate the index, each country was assigned a score out of 10 for two metrics – the average annual cost to income ratio, and the electricity saving query search volume per capita. These two scores were then averaged to create an index score. The higher the cost ratio and higher the search per capita, the higher the score out of 10.

The data used to create the average electricity cost to average income is listed in the table below.

CountryEstimated average annual cost (USD)Average annual income (USD)
New Zealand$8,134$50,722
United Kingdom$9,692$53,985
United States$12,758$77,463


Data sourced and accurate as of 31/01/2024.