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ENERGY

Energy prices in Norway could double this winter 

Energy prices in Norway could rise as high as 20 kroner per kWh this winter, according to expert estimates. 

Pictured are powerlines in Norway.
The cost of energy in Norway could double during the winter, according to expert estimates. Photo by Fré Sonneveld on Unsplash

August 2022 has surpassed all previous monthly price records for electricity in Norway, according to energy news outlet Europower

Southern Norway got an average monthly price of 434 øre per kWh throughout the month, while eastern Norway saw an average of 344 øre per kWh. 

Europower reports that while higher peak prices have been reported, the continued high prices were unprecedented and shattered all previous monthly records. 

However, energy prices will likely continue to skyrocket this winter, public broadcaster NRK reports. 

NRK reports that prices could potentially double from record levels, with costs of up 20 kroner per kWh not out of the question. 

Estimates for sky-high prices this winter were provided by energy analyst Tor Reirer Lilleholt. 

“Yes (prices could rise to 20 kroner per kWh), but this is a rather extreme scenario. But I have stopped believing there is a ceiling on the electricity price. A month ago, 5-6 kroner were quite hefty prices, and ten kroner was somehow unthinkable. But now this ceiling has been moved quite high,” Tor Reier Lilleholt, an analyst with Volue Insight, told NRK when asked about the possibility of prices reaching 20 kroner this winter.

A mixture of the war in Ukraine, low reservoir filling levels and power cables that export and import energy to and from the continent have all contributed to sky-high energy prices. 

Norway relies on hydro-power to meet its energy needs. However, reservoir filling levels in parts of Norway have been at the lowest for more than 20 years. 

Lilleholt said that without the war in Ukraine, the price of energy would be around 50 øre per kWh. 

In an earlier analysis of energy prices, Lilleholt said that foreign export cables made up around 25 percent of the current price. 

READ MORE: How much do foreign power export cables affect energy prices in Norway? 

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MONEY

Cost of living: Households in Norway choosing between food and energy bills

More households in Norway are struggling financially, and one in six has either cut back on food to pay energy bills or reduced electricity consumption to afford groceries, according to new research. 

Cost of living: Households in Norway choosing between food and energy bills

The financial security of homes in Norway has shrunk considerably, according to new research from the analysis institute Consumption Research Norway (SIFO). 

In August 2022, 130,000 households find themselves in serious financial difficulties, while 280,000 are struggling economically. The number of households having financial troubles has doubled since last year. 

“This is undoubtedly a bigger crisis than the one we saw during the corona pandemic,” SIFO researcher Christian Poppe told public broadcaster NRK. According to the analysis, 35 percent of homes were financially vulnerable, and just under 50 percent were stable. 

SIFO’s analysis has also found that consumers in Norway have to prioritise between food and electricity. One in six homes has either saved on food to pay for energy bills or cut back on electricity to cover the cost of groceries. 

Additionally, one in twelve have visited a food bank or received support from NAV to help pay for food. The research also found that some financially vulnerable households used savings to pay for food and energy. 

“This is not sustainable in the long term,” Poppe said of the current situation. 

Food Banks Norway (Matsentralen Norge) has also noticed an uptick in people struggling financially. 

“We are collecting more food than ever, but the need for food is increasing much more,” general manager Per Kristian Rålm said. 

Food Banks Norway said that it has distributed 32 percent more food this year and that queues are now being seen at centres all over the country, Norwegian newspaper VG recently reported. 

After energy prices, the cost of food was the next biggest worry for Norwegian households, according to a survey by Sparebank 1. Grocery bills in Norway have risen by 10.3 percent over the past year, figures from Statistics Norway show.

READ MORE: Six apps to help you save money on your food shopping in Norway

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