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ENERGY

Denmark declares ‘early warning’ over gas supply

Denmark's energy agency declared a first level "early warning" alert over worries of its gas supply, due to uncertainty on energy imports from Russia because of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

A file photo showing the construction of a gas pipe in Denmark.
A file photo showing the construction of a gas pipe in Denmark. The country has moved to the lowest level alert over its gas supply. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The European Union has established a system to allow member states to flag up impending energy supply difficulties using three ascending levels of alerts — beginning with “early warning”, followed by “alert”, then “emergency”. 

The system allows for mutual assistance from other EU countries, but could also mean a start to rationing supplies.

On Monday, the deputy director of the Danish Energy Agency, Martin Hansen, issued the first level warning.

“This is a serious situation we are facing and it has been exacerbated by the reduction in supplies,” Hansen said in a statement. 

Currently Denmark’s gas stocks are about 75 percent full, “and gas has been added in recent days”, the agency said in a statement. 

The declaration comes after Danish energy company Ørsted announced at the end of May that delivery of Russian gas to the Scandinavian country would be suspended from June 1st, after Ørsted refused to settle the payment in rubles. 

Gas represents 18 percent of the energy consumed each year in Denmark. Domestic production accounted for three-quarters of the gas consumed in 2019. 

Russia is one of the main sources of natural gas imports, according to the Danish Energy Agency. 

The Netherlands also announced Monday it will lift restrictions on coal-fired power generation, a day after Germany and Austria took similar steps to alleviate their reliance on Russian gas supplies.

READ ALSO: Gas flow to Denmark continues after Russia cuts supply

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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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