The electricity price has never been higher

Did you think the electricity bills were annoyingly high last year? Then you were right. The electricity price has never been higher.

The average electricity price was NOK 48.6 per kilowatt hour in 2018–41 per cent more than the year before and the highest level recorded in the statistics, according to Statistics Norway (Statistics Norway).

If you take net rent and taxes, the average price was NOK 114.9 per kilowatt hour in 2018. This is 19 per cent higher than in 2017 and also the highest level recorded on Statistics Norway’s statistics at some point in time.

We must return to 2010 and 2011 to find electricity prices near this level.

– Extraordinary year

It was primarily conditions outside Norway that affected power prices last year, according to Norway’s Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), which increased prices for gas and coal, and a significantly higher price for CO2 quotas in the EU. This resulted in increased costs for power production in Europe and influenced the Norwegian power prices through imports from and exports to the countries to which we are connected.

But 2018 was also “an extraordinary year”, with a record-dry summer that went straight into an autumn with historically much rainfall, according to acting watercourse and energy director Anne Britt Leifseth. Total power consumption was 135.4 terrawatt hours. The increased power demand is due to cold weather in the spring, increased electrification and increase in power-intensive industry. In particular, the consumption of electricity for the petroleum sector increased last year.

Cheapest with fixed price

Most expensive was the electricity for households that had variable price contracts. They had to spend an average of 52.6 øre kilowatt hours. Contracts related to the electricity spot price had an average price of NOK 47.6 per kilowatt hour. It is this type of contract that is the most common power contract for households.

The lowest electricity prices they had with older fixed price contracts.They got away with 31.9 øre kilowatt hours, excluding fees and network rent. Few households have electricity through fixed price contracts, and these contracts make up a small proportion of the total electricity consumption.

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