CEPS Project

Composition and Drivers of Energy Prices and Costs

Case Studies in Selected Energy Intensive Industries


This study examines energy prices for a selection of five energy-intensive sectors of EU industry: i) steel; ii) aluminium (primary & downstream); iii) wall and floor tiles; iv) bricks and roof tiles; and v) refineries. For each of these five sectors, the study aims to provide: i) an overview of energy price developments with particular attention to energy price levels (mainly electricity and natural gas), and the structure of energy prices, i.e. the components of energy bills; ii) an overview of the evolution of energy intensity; iii) an international comparison with non-EU production sites in those sectors where data was available; and vi) an assessment of the impact of energy prices and their components on the unit production costs and other key performance indicators, such as the price-cost margin, EBIT and EBITDA. The analysis was conducted between December 2015 and June 2016, with the primary information collected via a questionnaire completed by selected plants across the EU. In total, 151 EU plants provided data for this study. In addition, data from non-EU plants and third party data providers were used to conduct an international comparison between energy costs for EU plants and major competitors. The period covered by the assessment ran from 2008 to 2015.


This project was awarded under the Multiple Framework Contract with reopening of competition in the field of Sustainable Industrial Policy and Construction: Competitiveness, Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Transport (409/PP/2014/FC Lot 1) with the European Commission, DG GROW. The full list of CEPS’ Framework Contracts is available here.

Andrei Marcu

Wijnand Stoefs

Katja Tuokko

Christian Egenhofer

Associate Senior Research Fellow

Andrea Renda

Senior Research Fellow and Head of Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation & Digital Economy

+32 (0)2 229 39 17

Fabio Genoese

Edoardo Storti

Eleanor Drabik


+32 (0)2 229 39 85

Felice Simonelli

Associate Senior Research Fellow

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Composition and Drivers of Energy Prices and Costs

Energy, climate change and the environment

CEPS Conference room
Place du Congrès 1 - 1000 Brussels

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