It is a challenging situation in the electricity market and we can expect continued fluctuating electricity prices during the winter. Here we have collected tips on how to prepare, and reduce your electricity consumption, advice on which electricity contract suits you, and answers to common questions that come in right now.
It is not unusual for electricity prices to rise during the winter months. Partly because the cold climate causes us to consume more electricity, but also because the pricing on the electricity market is higher then. This year, in particular, we have an energy crisis that extends around the whole world, driven by uncertainty and above all the war in Ukraine according to elavtalerbjudande.se.
There are several factors that affect the price of electricity. The availability and price of coal in Europe is one; if the coal price is lowered, the electricity price will also be lower. And vice versa. The price is also controlled by what is happening around the world. Just like in the stock market, it is supply and demand that matter, and if the demand for electricity is high, the price rises.
It certainly does not come as a surprise that weather also plays a significant role in how high the price of electricity becomes. If we’ve had a hot and dry summer, the water tank has less water than if it had rained a lot.
This, in turn, causes a shortage of hydropower, which contributes to an increase in electricity prices because the availability of hydropower largely electricity prices. With this year’s record-hot summer and the lack of precipitation, we can very likely count on increased electricity prices this winter.
If there is also a cold and dry winter, countries may have to import electricity from countries that have significantly higher prices than themselves. If you don’t have a fixed electricity contract, all these different factors will ultimately affect your electricity bill.
The development of the electricity price is affected by many factors which not infrequently work in different directions; the weather in the form of winds and precipitation, lack of transmission capacity, general fuel prices in the world, and demand for electricity – for example, due to cold temperatures. At the moment, all factors are acting in the same direction, which has given a price-raising effect.
Continental prices are the main reason
All countries in Europe are now much more clearly connected to the continental electricity system, which affects prices. Already at the beginning of autumn, the prices of natural gas and coal were high and since then they have increased further. The background is low natural gas stocks in Europe after a long and cold winter and limitations in the supply of natural gas from, above all, Russia.
The high natural gas prices have made coal-based electricity production profitable again, which in turn has increased the demand for emission rights to record-high price levels.
In addition to high prices for fuel and emission allowances, there has been an economic recovery in the autumn after corona shutdowns, which increased the demand for electricity. These factors have meant that electricity prices on the continent have been high throughout the autumn. Especially in the UK where the transmission cable to France was damaged in a fire in mid-September.
At the time of writing, prices have increased slightly further due to lower temperatures across Europe. With lower temperatures, the demand for electricity also increases, but at the same time means that wind power production decreases. In the first three weeks of September, wind power production in Germany was very low. There’s also a continuous reduction in solar-based electricity production.
Hydropower and ice formation
Recently, there has been a little extra talk about hydropower’s impact on the price of electricity and its importance for the electricity system. Not about the amount of precipitation and the degree of filling in the water reservoir, but this time about the water power being cut off due to ice formation.
When the cold sets in, hydropower producers want the ice to melt to facilitate production for the rest of the winter. This is to avoid so-called ice drift, which means that ice crystals float in the water. These can form large shoals of tough ice mass, an ice storm that can have a damming effect. In order to be able to lay ice, the water must be slowed down by less water going through the power plants, so that the water level is kept more stable. Ice formation occurs every year, but it may cause a greater issue than before this year.
While the freezing is temporary, there are currently no signs that the price of natural gas will drop. Thus, the high level of electricity prices can remain in Europe. Then a large part of the price development depends on how the winter will be. In terms of price, there is a big difference between a cold and a mild winter.
- Simple tips on how you can reduce electricity consumption this winter:
- Lower the indoor temperature by 1–2 degrees
- Turn off lights when you leave a room
- Do not place furniture in front of the radiators
- Close the windows
- Make sure the electronics are not on stand-by
Heating and hot water are the biggest electricity consumers in the home. Lowering the indoor temperature a few degrees and reducing shower time are great ways to save electricity. Here are our best tips to reduce your energy consumption:
If you lower the indoor temperature by one degree, you can save 5 percent in heating costs. Recommended indoor temperature for the living room is 20 degrees. But in bedrooms, the recommendation is 16 – 18 degrees Celcius. It saves energy – and as a bonus, it can lead to a better night’s sleep according to some studies.
Take a quick shower! Anyone who settles for a five-minute shower instead of fifteen can reduce their annual consumption by as much as 500 kWh on average. If you turn off the water when you lather up (or brush your teeth for that matter), you’ll save even more.
Skip standby mode and turn off computers, TVs and other equipment completely when you’re not using them. Unplug chargers when not in use and turn off lights in rooms you are not in.
Have the right temperature in the fridge and freezer! Keep at +5 degrees celsius in the fridge and -18 degrees in the freezer. Each degree colder increases energy use by 5%. Do not put hot food to cool in the fridge, but feel free to thaw frozen food in the fridge. Also, defrost the freezer regularly – ice increases energy use. Wipe off the back of the fridge and freezer to keep the condenser free of dust, as dust also increases electricity use.
Lower the wash temperature when you can. If you lower the temperature from 60 to 40 degrees Celcius, you almost halve the energy consumption. Sometimes, however, it is good to run 60 or 90 degrees to prevent bacterial growth. Then it’s smart to take the opportunity to wash towels and sheets, which usually require a higher temperature. Always run full washing machines! Also avoid tumble drying, as it is expensive. Air dry the laundry instead.
Put a lid on the pan and reduce energy use by two-thirds. Use the kitchen fan sparingly – it draws out hot air that takes a lot of energy to replace. Use a kettle to boil water – is both faster and more energy efficient than a stove.