Sofia Maier with Antonio F. Amores, Mattia Ricci (2023) – Taxing household energy consumption in the EU: The tax burden and its redistributive effect

The taxation of energy consumption is a central topic in current policy debate in the European Union. While raising energy taxation is part of the European Commission’s strategy for achieving its climate targets for 2030 and 2050, the ongoing dramatic increases in the price of energy products are resulting in calls to reduce taxation on them. Therefore, it is crucial to closely consider the tax burden and redistributive effects of energy taxation in order to design compensatory measures and ensure support for the green transition. In this paper, we use the EUROMOD microsimulation model to estimate the burden and the redistributive impact of energy consumption taxation on households across Member States. In doing so, we break down the roles played by differences in consumption patterns, rates of taxation (covering both excises and VAT) and their regressivity. Countries with the highest energy taxation are often not those where its tax burden on household income is the strongest. At the same time, the strongest redistributive impact is not always taking place in countries with the most regressive energy taxation.