Irish households are paying the fourth highest electricity prices in the EU, according to the latest figures from Eurostat, the EU's statistical agency.

At 26.16 cent per kWh including VAT and charges, prices here are 23% above the EU average, and trail only Germany, Denmark and Belgium.

This means the average customer is paying an extra €202 a year.

However, according to comparison and switching website, when you look at the net price of electricity, by excluding taxes and charges such as VAT and environmental levies, prices in Ireland are actually the most expensive in the EU.

The figures show that prices are lowest in Bulgaria (9.82 cent per kWh), Hungary (10.09 cent) and Estonia (12.91 cent).

While taxes and environmental charges such as VAT and the PSO levy make up around 20% of the final price paid for electricity by consumers in Ireland, it's almost 40% on average in Europe - which is an increase from around 31% in 2008.

Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at said that given the increase in wind generation in Ireland over the past few years, it’s disappointing that electricity prices haven’t fallen and continue to remain way above the EU average.

"What’s more concerning is the net price of electricity here, which is way out of line with the rest of Europe.

"This is important for the Government to remember, as if it embarks on increasing taxes and levies on electricity to bring us into line with the EU average or to try meet environmental goals, consumers could be faced with astronomical bills," he said.

As many people remain working and studying from home, heating and electricity costs are understandably a concern for many people.

"My advice to anyone who is looking for better value or who is struggling with their energy bills is to look at switching supplier.

"There are huge discounts available to those who switch with prices as low as around 14 cent per kWh on offer for an entire year.

"This would make your electricity about the ninth cheapest in the EU – on a par with Latvia," he said.