Energy prices in Denmark are currently lower than they were in the late summer and early autumn, but experts say that turning heating up to full blast – and generally scrapping measures to reduce consumption – will still result in costly bills.
While prices were high, many people in Denmark adapted their consumption habits in an effort to preserve stores and avoid high costs.
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With the weather now colder, energy prices are currently low.
That is partly because Denmark’s gas reserves that serve as an emergency backup are full, while issues at European power plants that exacerbated the crisis have been largely resolved.
The cold weather and lower prices may tempt many to return to former habits and turn heating up as usual. But this could still see energy bills eventually hit record levels, experts have warned.
“We will have to think about what we use our electricity and gas for and make savings where we can,” Jim Vilsson, senior economist at state-owned energy company Energinet told broadcaster TV2.
“Otherwise, we could end up in a situation where we again risk being short of energy,” he said.
Data from Nordic energy stock market Nord Pool, reported by TV2, show the unit price of electricity hitting 4.36 kroner per kilowatt hour (not including fees and taxes) in late August.
The price was 0.9 kroner per kilowatt hour as of November 20th.
Gas prices similarly peaked in late August and before falling, but are higher than they were in November 2021.
“Supply wise we are well stocked at the moment. We have got the European gas strores filled well up and they are actually completely full in Denmark,” Vilsson told TV2.
Gas stocks remained full further into the late autumn than usual, according to raw material analyst Ole Sloth Hansen of Saxo Bank.
“We have only just seen gas stocks be reduced and this was three weeks later than normal. So we have lots of gas, but we’re not home and dry yet,” Hansen told TV2.
Consumers in Denmark have meanwhile reduced their consumption by an average of around 10 percent.
“The market is a little better than it was before. But I’m putting extra emphasis on ‘little’, because it’s based on a situation where we expect a relatively normal or mild winter,” Vilsson said.
Increased consumption could help to push current lower prices back up as well as deplete stocks, he warned.
“We have been able to keep prices down because we have stood together and been good at saving. If we go back to normal, we could be in a situation again where we will lack gas, coal or electricity,” he said.