Gas costs too much. So does heating oil. And electricity. Americans love to complain about the cost of our energy. On the campaign trail, politicians love to offer policies that will lower it. But, as we’ve heard time and time again, our energy prices are actually blissfully low when compared to the rest of the world. Would it be nice if gas were cheaper? Certainly. But try telling a fellow in Europe what you pay to fill up and he’d probably offer you a hearty congratulations (before laughing at you about your gas mileage).
This infographic from WellHome combines many of the stats about global energy costs into one helpful package. For instance, unless you’re one of the few people who scrutinize your electric bill every month, you probably have no idea what you’re paying per kilowatt hour, just a general sense of what your bill is at the end of every month. Well, the average American is getting off easy compared countries like Italy or Denmark, where residents pay two and three times more, respectively, for their units of power:
And it’s not just electricity. In terms of natural gas and heating oil, we’re also getting a great deal:
To add to our general confusion about energy, our sense of the inexorable increase of energy prices is also wrong. They’ve been basically steady (relative to inflation) for the past 50 years. With the exception of gas prices, which are currently skyrocketing for the second time since 1960, most energy prices are basically constants:
And why is that? It certainly has something to do with the massive subsidies we offer energy companies, or at least the energy companies that don’t make renewable energy:
Is knowing how well-off we are compared to the rest of the world going to quiet the incessant drumbeat about high energy prices? Certainly not. That would be un-American. Check out the whole infographic below or see it here.