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ENERGY

Copenhagen to retain but reduce Christmas lights amid energy crisis

Christmas lights on Copenhagen’s central shopping street Strøget will be partially switched on this winter, with savings necessary due to high energy costs.

Copenhagen to retain but reduce Christmas lights amid energy crisis
Christmas lighting in Copenhagen in 2020. The city's Christmas lights will be retained but used more sparingly this year. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

The decision was confirmed by the head of the Copenhagen traders’ association KCC, Michael Gatten, to local media TV2 Lorry.

“We have to make sure that retail here can attract visitors and Copenhageners. Christmas decorations are a precondition for revenue in shops and cafes. And it’s also a tradition,” Gatten said.

“Copenhageners and people from elsewhere come for a cultural experience of seeing the Christmas decorations in the Inner City,” he said.

Christmas lighting will however be reduced compared to recent years. Energy consumption for the decorations is to be 60 percent lower than last year, according to the report.

To achieve this, the lights will be switched on between 3pm and 9pm. Last year, lights in most streets were on from 7am until midnight.

Additionally, lights will first be used on November 27th, the first day of advent – two weeks later than in 2021.

Several municipalities in Denmark are considering reduced street lighting to save energy this winter, while some towns have cancelled their regular winter ice skating rinks.

Most of Copenhagen’s Christmas lighting energy bill is paid by the KCC trade association, with Copenhagen Municipality also contributing.

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ENERGY

Danish Energy Agency advises homes with gas heating to conserve

The Danish Energy Agency (Energistyrelsen) has issued guidelines to households heated by individual gas heaters in a bid to help them avoid very high bills.

Danish Energy Agency advises homes with gas heating to conserve

Around 240,000 households in Denmark will receive advice from the agency by physical or digital post, the agency said in a statement on Friday.

Gas prices in Denmark are currently rising as temperatures drop and energy production from wind turbines falls due to weather conditions.

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“The Danish Energy Agency views it as an important task to help people like those with individual gas heaters [Danish: gasfyr] through good advice about how they best can reduce their heating consumption and take the worst off their gas bill,” head of office Vincent Rudnicki said in the statement.

The information letters are part of a national energy saving campaign which seeks to cut energy consumption during a period when prices can go through large variations.

When gas prices reached their 2022 peak in August, one megawatt hour of gas cost over 300 euros according to the Dutch exchange TTF.

At the beginning of December, the price has increased to 131 euros per megawatt hour after going through a period with lower prices during the autumn.

Although the price remains low compared to August, it is higher than it was two years ago, according to comments previously given to news wire Ritzau by Sydbank’s senior economist Søren Kristensen.

Kristensen said that the cost of heating a housing in Denmark is now 10,000 kroner per year higher on average than it was in the years prior to the energy crisis.

He also said that the winter is likely to push prices up from their current level.

“That will unfortunately mean that it will in no way be a cheap winter in relation to heating up the house or using electricity,” he said.

The Danish Energy Agency information letter will be sent to persons who own single-family houses which are heated by natural gas heaters, according to information stored on the national register BBR (Bygnings- og Boligregistret).

“At this time we have particular focus on those who live in villas or semi-detached houses because they have seen the largest of all the gas bill increases,” Rudnicki said.

In some cases, persons who no longer have gas heating will receive the letter if the BBR registry has not been updated, he noted.

Advice included in the information packs includes reducing temperature, using less hot water and having gas boilers services.

The saving tips may also be relevant for people who live in other types of housing, such as apartments, rental houses or terraced houses, according to the Energy Agency.

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