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How high could electricity bills in Norway get this winter?

Here's how much your energy bills in Norway will cost you this winter and why prices are rising. Pictured are powerlines.
Here's how much your energy bills in Norway will cost you this winter and why prices are rising. Pictured are powerlines. Photo by Fré Sonneveld on Unsplash
Norwegian electricity prices are continuing to soar, increasing the prospect of expensive bills this winter and beyond. 

Dry weather, increased demand and exports to the continent have resulted in energy price records being set and re-set throughout the summer and autumn. 

Despite recent heavy rainfall helping to replenish severely depleted reservoirs used in the production of hydroelectricity, energy prices in Norway are expected to continue rising into the winter. 

Why will energy prices continue to rise?

Although recent rainfall levels have been high, reservoirs are only around 64.5 percent full, 20 percentage points lower than the average level of the past 20 years, according to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). 

In addition, the water refilling some reservoirs now will not be used until later into the colder months, meaning it will have no effect on prices until then. Furthermore, hydroelectric stocks won’t be topped up significantly until after the snow melts in the spring. 

“What comes into the stocks now will be able to be used later in the autumn and winter, so it will not have any immediate effect on the price,” Marius Holm Rennesund, a power analyst with Thema Consulting Group, told broadcaster NRK

Another contributing factor to record high prices is the cost of energy across Europe. 

“It will probably be a determining factor for the prices this winter, and it still looks like it will be expensive,” Thomas Mathisen, head of operations and development at Gudbrandsdal Energi, said of prices on the continent, particularly in Germany, to NRK. 

The newly functional North Sea Link power cable, which transfers power between the UK and Norway, is expected to increase prices in Norway. Energy experts have predicted to public broadcaster NRK that the new cable will bump electricity prices in the south by as much as 5 øre per kilowatt-hour.

READ MORE: Norway to provide renewable power to UK through underwater cable

How far will prices rise in Norway? 

Electricity prices could be more than double they were last year. The cold winters in Norway mean the demand and usage of electricity go up, causing typically higher prices throughout the colder months. 

Last year’s record low prices always meant consumers were more likely to feel the squeeze this year. However, energy experts say billpayers in Norway face the prospect of paying double the costs they incurred last winter. 

“It has been drier than normal throughout the year, in addition to little wind. If the dry weather continues, electricity prices will double compared to last year’s winter,” energy expert Kristian Fossum explained to electricity supplier Hafslund Strøm in late August.

More recently, Tor Reier Lilleholt, head of analysis at Volue Insight AS, predicted that the average electricity price would be around 100 øre before VAT and other surcharges and fees this winter, in an analysis for online news site Nettavisen.

The energy expert also estimated that cost of raw energy alone, not accounting for other fess, would be 17,500 kroner for 2021 if current prices continue for a house that uses around 20,000 kWh of energy each year. This is including an estimated raw energy cost of around 6,500 kroner for the last three months of the year. 

He also predicted that next year the total energy bill for a house that consumes around 20,000 kWh each year could come in anywhere between 30,000- 40,000 kroner when considering all fees, such as taxes and grid rent. 

What can I do to save on my energy bills? 

As energy prices have sky-rocketed in Norway, we’ve been offering readers tips, tricks and advice on cutting down their energy bills. You can check out all of our coverage on soaring energy costs here.

An obvious way to use less electricity this winter is by using firewood to heat your home. Of course, not all homes have a fireplace. Other ways to save energy include using timers on your appliances, using comparison sites to get the best deal and checking which subsidies and grants you might be entitled to from Enova to make your home more energy efficient in the long term. 

Vocabulary

Nettleie: The nettleie or grid-rent 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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