Why some homes in Denmark are more affected by rocketing heating bills

Huge increases in heating bills could hit households in Denmark this year, but not all homes will be affected by additional costs.

A file photo of a district heating power station near Odense. Many households in Denmark are facing drastic increases to their heating bills.
A file photo of a district heating power station near Odense. Many households in Denmark are facing drastic increases to their heating bills. Photo: Tim Kildeborg Jensen/Ritzau Scanpix

Energy prices – particularly oil, natural gas and electricity – are still causing spiking energy bills after significant hikes occurred in 2021.

Many Danish households may have to calculate additional energy costs into their budgets, broadcaster DR writes on Tuesday, with prices going up by as much as 1,000-1,500 kroner per month for some.

While some homeowners will feel the pinch of increased costs, others may actually see savings, DR reports.

“It naturally depends upon energy consumption in individual households, but you should expect 1,000-1,500 (kroner) per month (extra),” Lars Aagaard, director of Dansk Energi, the interest organisation for energy providers in Denmark, told DR.

However, the majority of some 1.7 million Danish homes which are heated by district heating systems are unlikely to be hit by the same expensive increases to their bills as others.

District heating, fjernvarme in Danish, is when heated water generated at a central location such as a power plant is pumped via insulated pipes to houses or apartments, where it provides heating.

Most Danish homes on the district heating system will not be affected by the high energy prices which are being passed on to other homes, according to Kim Mortensen, director of Dansk Fjernvarme, the interest organisation for the national district heating sector, who was also interviewed by DR.

“There are around 100,000 customers who will experience significant price increases and a further 100,000 who will experience small price increases,” Mortensen said.

Those numbers come from a survey of Denmark’s 370 district heating companies conducted by Dansk Fjernvarme.

The district heating companies which are raising prices are spread across Denmark, rather than being concentrated in one part of the country. Customers should therefore check with their service providers as to whether they can expect higher bills.

Companies are more likely to put their prices up if they use fuels such as gas or electricity for their pumps, Mortensen told DR.

That is because those fuels are currently affected by global price increases.

READ ALSO: Why are electricity prices increasing in Denmark?

Companies are more likely to avoid putting prices up if they have several options for their energy sources. This can include companies which use surplus heat from waste or biomass incineration.

According to DR’s report, district heating customers with North Jutland company Brønderslev Forsyning, and with HOFOR, which has 625,000 customers in Greater Copenhagen, are among those who may avoid higher bills.

On the other side of the coin, Gudenådalens Energiselskab, a company which supplies customers in central Jutland towns Ulstrup and Bjerringbro, has warned of price increases up to 185 percent. Up to 2,900 homes could be affected.

Such massive increases can wipe out a significant portion – or all – of a household’s disposable income.

Homes not on district heating networks are also vulnerable to price increases. That is particularly true for houses which use natural gas.

Around 400,000 villas in Denmark use natural gas heaters located on their own premises.

Because the cost of natural gas has increased so much, both individually and district heated homes that rely on it could see the most drastic extra heating costs.

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Denmark and three other EU nations want to increase North Sea wind power tenfold by 2050

EU members Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium on Wednesday said they wanted to increase their North Sea wind power capacity tenfold by 2050 to help the bloc achieve its climate goals and avoid Russian hydrocarbons.

Denmark and three other EU nations want to increase North Sea wind power tenfold by 2050

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the plan would mean the four countries would “deliver more than half of all offshore wind needed to reach climate neutrality in the European Union”.

The increase would make the North Sea “the green power plant of Europe”, she told a news conference in the port of Esbjerg in western Denmark.

“Setting a vision is not enough, we will make it happen,” Frederiksen added, flanked by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, Dutch premier Mark Rutte and Belgian leader Alexander De Croo.

The countries’ goal is to raise wind power capacity fourfold to 65 gigawatts by 2030 and then tenfold to almost 150 gigawatts by 2050.

They said 150 gigawatts of offshore wind power would supply 230 million homes with electricity.

Such a capacity would amount to 15,000-20,000 wind turbines, based on the most powerful ones currently on the market.

The announcement comes as the European Commission presented a plan to accelerate the development of renewable energy worth 210 billion euros ($220 billion) to reduce the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas as quickly as possible.

The European Union has already said it will end imports of Russian coal by August.

An embargo on Russian oil as part of a sixth sanctions package against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine is proving more contentious after Hungary raised objections.

The commission has said it wants to reduce purchases of Russian gas by two-thirds this year and completely before 2030.

On Wednesday it proposed to increase the proportion of renewable energies in the bloc’s energy mix from 40 percent to 45 percent by 2030.

The 27-nation EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

READ ALSO: Danish offshore wind could help Europe ditch fossil fuels