How to save on your Norwegian electricity bill

How to save on your Norwegian electricity bill
Photo: Andrik Langfield on Unsplash
It could be the cold climate or dark winters. In either case, electricity can be a costly utility in Norway. But there are ways to significantly reduce costs.

According to a 2014 Statistics Norway report, Norway has the second-highest household electricity use in the world. The average amount of energy used per person on a world basis is 725 kWh a year. In Norway, the average per year dwarfs this at 7600 kWh per person, the report found.

This high energy use may come as a surprise and can definitely put a dent in your monthly budget. Here are a few tips on how to save on electricity in Norway.

In the winter months

Electricity is an expense that tends to double, even triple, during the long and cold winter months in Norway. Most of this extra expense is accounted for in the energy used to heat households, Statistics Norway states. So before you sign a rental contract or buy a house, make sure and ask the owner what they pay for electricity in both the summer and the winter. This will help with your projected expenses in future. 

Modernise your appliances with timers

Connect your heating system and other appliances to timing systems. This way you can have the heat off while not in the house or automatically set to a lower temperature when you are sleeping.

Norwegian media Nettavisen has previously estimated that savings of up to 10 to 15 percent on your energy bill can be made with the use of timers. The timers can also turn off appliances, thus saving energy and helping in case you have forgotten to do so. Department stores like Clas Ohlsen and Power, carry these timers at reasonable costs.

Change old shower heads to low-flow, energy efficient models. Newer models use half the amount of warm water. A normal shower uses about 20 litres of water per minute. If the electricity price is 80 øre per kWh, and if you shower for ten minutes then it costs around six kroner per shower, according to Nettavisen’s calculations.

This doesn’t sound like much but if you are a household of four people who each take around 250 showers a year, then the cost for just bathing ends up being around 6,000 kroner a year. An energy efficient shower head can half that amount, leaving you with a huge 3,000 kroner in savings. 

Subsidies in Norway offer an extra initiative to install more energy efficient appliances 

The initial cost of replacing old household appliances to energy saving models can be expensive but end up saving you money in the long run. And if you needed a little extra initiative to do this then there is one.

READ ALSO: What wages can you expect when working in Norway?

Rights-based subsidy Enova is a scheme for private households. The purpose of the scheme is to give private individuals an initiative to implement measures to improve energy use in their own homes. The individual must pay for the entire cost of purchasing and installing the more energy efficient appliance but can apply to get money back.  You can find more information on home improvements that qualify for the subsidy here

The obvious but useful facts

Warming an entire house for months on end can be costly. We know it may sound obvious, but if you’re coming from a country where the climate doesn’t affect your electricity bill too much then these tips are worth noting.

Practice habits like turning off the lights in rooms you are not in. Close doors to rooms you are not using and make sure all windows have been shut properly. These small changes will add up and keep the money in your account.

Helpful reminders and resources

Remember to actually look at your electricity bill. Read through it. Paying bills is mostly automatic these days and companies could be increasing their prices without you even noticing it. It will also show you how much energy you are using.

A little can go a long way. According to energy company Hafslund, by reducing the room temperature one degree, you can reduce energy use by five percent. 

A lot of electric companies offer a discount, orrabatt, for first-time customers, so it might be worth making the change. 

Comparison websites are useful resources in Norway to help make sure you are getting the best deal. Two such site can be found here or here.

A list of Norway's competing power companies and what their agreements and pricing can be found here.

Facts and vocabulary

The average Norwegian household in 2012 used 18,645 kWh per year on just heat pumps, according to Statistics Norway.

There is an electricity tax, currently 16.13 øre per kWh

Norway has a reputation for high prices but surprisingly, the amount you pay for electricity per kWh is one of the lowest in Europe, according to Statistics Norway’s data. The reason for this is that Norway has a well-developed energy grid.

The average total cost for electricity for households in 2020 is 72.8 øre per kWh.

Nettleie: the nettleie is the price you pay for the wiring connections used to bring electricity into your home. The nettleie is a set price in Norway, and does not change with different energy providers.

Strømregning: electricity bill

Rabatt: discount 

Koblingsur: timers 

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