For members


UPDATE: What times of day should you avoid using electricity in Norway? 

Energy price records in Norway were set once again on Monday, with prices expected to soar throughout the winter. But costs vary at different times of the day.

Here's when you should lower the use of electricity in Norway. Pictured is two plug sockets.
Here's when you should lower the use of electricity in Norway. Pictured is two plug sockets. Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Energy power exchange Nordpool has said the price of electricity in Norway on Monday was set to peak at 2.79 kroner per kilowatt-hour, the highest hourly rate seen this year. 

This figure is without accounting for grid rent and other fees, meaning consumers will pay around 4 kroner per kilowatt-hour. 

Power price analyst Tor Reier Lilleholt, from Volue Insight, has told public broadcaster NRK that the peak price was probably a record for the month. 

“I do not think we have seen such prices in November before,” he told NRK.

Unfortunately, for those already fretting over the size of their electricity bills, record prices could become a weekly fixture this winter. 

“I think there may be new records with every week that comes,” Lilleholt said. 

Prices will crescendo between 4pm and 7pm. The peak price will apply to Oslo, Bergen and Kristiansand. For a number of reasons, prices in the north don’t reach the same dizzy sights as the south.

Throughout the day, the price will fluctuate greatly, averaging around 1.22 kroner per kilowatt-hour in total. 

With surging prices threatening to cost users a fortune throughout the winter, it’s helpful to know which times of day are most expensive so you can save electricity when prices are peaking. 

Earlier in the autumn, peak times for energy prices in Norway were between 8am, and 9am, with prices topping out at around 2.20 kroner per kilowatt-hour.

READ ALSO: How to save on your Norwegian electricity bill

However, while prices will remain high in the morning hours, they will actually peak in the late afternoon and early evening throughout the winter. 

“It is common for prices to be higher for a few hours in the morning and afternoon due to higher consumption,” Stina Johansen, from Nordpool, explained to NRK

“The price is highest in the hours when it gets dark because then all the lights are turned on. So there is an extra peak in consumption. In addition, people are coming home and having dinner,” Lilleholt added.

The most expensive times to use electricity this winter will be between 8-11am and 4-7pm. Prices typically bottom out later in the evening, hitting their lowest price just before 11, where they are around a third of the cost compared to the peak. This means you should consider putting on your home appliances just before bed if they are quiet enough.

If we were to take a 10-minute shower during peak times as an example, then a quick rinse would cost around 2 kroner between 5-6pm. Were you to make this a daily habit at this price. It would cost 7,300 kroner per year. 

As the days get shorter, darker and colder in Norway, the daily price peak is also expected to change to align with the sun going down. 

In addition, as temperatures plummet into the minuses, the increased consumption and demand puts more pressure on prices. 

This will be exacerbated by the lower than usual supply level due to record energy exports to the continent, which is also in the midst of an energy price crisis and exceptionally low hydroelectric stocks caused by a dry summer and autumn. 

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For members


Pensions in the EU: What you need to know if you’re moving country

Have you ever wondered what to do with your private pension plan when moving to another European country?

Pensions in the EU: What you need to know if you're moving country

This question will probably have caused some headaches. Fortunately a new private pension product meant to make things easier should soon become available under a new EU regulation that came into effect this week. 

The new pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) will allow savers to take their private pension with them if they move within the European Union.

EU rules so far allowed the aggregation of state pensions and the possibility to carry across borders occupational pensions, which are paid by employers. But the market of private pensions remained fragmented.

The new product is expected to benefit especially young people, who tend to move more frequently across borders, and the self-employed, who might not be covered by other pension schemes. 

According to a survey conducted in 16 countries by Insurance Europe, the organisation representing insurers in Brussels, 38 percent of Europeans do not save for retirement, with a proportion as high as 60 percent in Finland, 57 percent in Spain, 56 percent in France and 55 percent in Italy. 

The groups least likely to have a pension plan are women (42% versus 34% of men), unemployed people (67%), self-employed and part-time workers in the private sector (38%), divorced and singles (44% and 43% respectively), and 18-35 year olds (40%).

“As a complement to public pensions, PEPP caters for the needs of today’s younger generation and allows people to better plan and make provisions for the future,” EU Commissioner for Financial Services Mairead McGuinness said on March 22nd, when new EU rules came into effect. 

The scheme will also allow savers to sign up to a personal pension plan offered by a provider based in another EU country.

Who can sign up?

Under the EU regulation, anyone can sign up to a pan-European personal pension, regardless of their nationality or employment status. 

The scheme is open to people who are employed part-time or full-time, self-employed, in any form of “modern employment”, unemployed or in education. 

The condition is that they are resident in a country of the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (the European Economic Area). The PEPP will not be available outside these countries, for instance in Switzerland. 

How does it work?

PEPP providers can offer a maximum of six investment options, including a basic one that is low-risk and safeguards the amount invested. The basic PEPP is the default option. Its fees are capped at 1 percent of the accumulated capital per year.

People who move to another EU country can continue to contribute to the same PEPP. Whenever a consumer changes the country of residence, the provider will open a new sub-account for that country. If the provider cannot offer such option, savers have the right to switch provider free of charge.  

As pension products are taxed differently in each state, the applicable taxation will be that of the country of residence and possible tax incentives will only apply to the relevant sub-account. 

Savers who move residence outside the EU cannot continue saving on their PEPP, but they can resume contributions if they return. They would also need to ask advice about the consequences of the move on the way their savings are taxed. 

Pensions can then be paid out in a different location from where the product was purchased. 

Where to start?

Pan-European personal pension products can be offered by authorised banks, insurance companies, pension funds and wealth management firms. 

They are regulated products that can be sold to consumers only after being approved by supervisory authorities. 

As the legislation came into effect this week, only now eligible providers can submit the application for the authorisation of their products. National authorities have then three months to make a decision. So it will still take some time before PEPPs become available on the market. 

When this will happen, the products and their features will be listed in the public register of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). 

For more information: 

This article is published in cooperation with Europe Street News, a news outlet about citizens’ rights in the EU and the UK.