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How people in Denmark are changing their energy use to keep bills down

Energy consumption in Denmark has fallen by almost 10 percent, according to a media report, as the country experiences record high prices.

How people in Denmark are changing their energy use to keep bills down
Price-tracking apps and using appliance at night are among methods used by Danes to soften the blow of high energy costs. File photo: Vibeke Toft/Ritzau Scanpix

Evidence suggests that using appliances at night is among a number of ways Danes are limiting their energy consumption amid record prices.

The Nordic country has seen increasingly high prices on energy, electricity and gas throughout this year due to a combination of factors including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and ongoing inflation.

As a result, electricity is now more expensive than ever before. The price on August 23rd was 7.72 kroner per kilowatt hour compared to 2.87 kroner per kilowatt hour on January 3rd.

READ ALSO: Why next week could be crucial for Danish heating this winter

The government has attempted to address the issue by paying out relief to around 400,000 households affected by high heating bills, but individuals are also adapting daily habits to reduce consumption and thereby limit the effects of high prices on their wallets, broadcaster DR reports.

Energinet, the company responsible for Denmark’s electricity network, told DR that private energy consumption in the first seven months of 2022 was 9.86 percent lower than in the same period last year.

This has corresponded with a rise in popularity of apps which can be used to monitor electricity prices. These include the ‘Min strøm’ app, which has been downloaded 70,000 times according to the broadcaster. Popular alternatives are the ‘Elpriser’ and ‘Andel Energi’ apps.

Energy prices as high as 7.7 kroner per kilowatt hour can still fall to as much as 3 kroner per kilowatt hour at night, and this can be checked using tracking apps, which monitor the kWh price by the hour.

Danish residents are also making more of an effort to take advantage of times during the day when electricity costs less. These occur during the night as well as for a short period during the middle of the day (due to solar power).

“Electricity consumption is primarily falling during the day and less, or not at all, during the night,” Energinet senior business developer Jesper Kronborg Jensen told DR.

This could be “interpreted” as people moving their electricity-demanding activities to nighttime, he said, but noted Energinet can only see the change in consumption times, not the reasons for this.

Other measures taken by Danes to reduce energy use include not making meals that require long oven time; using slower but more efficient washing programmes on dishwashers and washing machines, and running them at night; and avoiding the tumble dryer.

Overall, energy consumption in Danish homes in the first seven months of this year totalled 5.16 million megawatt hours, according to Energinet. In 2021, it reached 5.73 million megawatt hours in the corresponding period.

Total energy consumption for the country also fell, from 21.16 million megawatt hours to 20.79 million megawatt hours.

Factors other than cost may be related, Jensen noted in comments to DR.

“There is no correction for the corona lockdown at the start of 2021, which may have meant a higher electricity consumption in private homes, for example because of more home working,” he said.

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Danes cut electricity use by ten percent with prices ‘the same’ as last year

Electricity prices were similar in January 2022 and January 2023, but consumers in Denmark used around 10 percent less power this year compared to last.

Danes cut electricity use by ten percent with prices ‘the same’ as last year

Increased awareness and saving measures appear to have left their mark on Danish electricity consumers, according to a report by broadcaster DR.

As energy bills shot upwards last year because of factors including inflation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many began to limit or economise their use of electricity and energy.

Measures included the use of apps to track the hourly price, use of appliances at night and turning down heaters and switching off lights.


While electricity prices were extremely high during the late summer and autumn last year, reaching over 8 kroner per kilowatt hour in August, they are now back at a comparable level to January 2022, when the price rises were yet to take hold.

Analysis from energy companies NRGi and Norlys have both found that people in Denmark used considerably less electricity in January this year than they did 12 months prior, DR reports.

Norlys said its customers used 13 percent less energy from one January to the next, while NRGi found the same trend, placing the difference at around 10 percent.

“This shows that we have retained good habits,” Norlys Energy’s head of customer service Pernille Storgaard told DR.

That makes sense despite what are currently equivalent energy prices between this year and last, an analyst said.

“The fall in price [since mid-late 2022, ed.] looks like stopping now and then the electricity price will be at the level we have now. That is around 1 krone per kilowatt hour when it’s not windy and a bit less when it’s windy or the sun is shining,” Kristian Rune Poulsen, senior consultant with Green Energy Denmark, told DR.

Denmark’s increased reliance on wind and sun generated power means swings in price are more likely than in the past, he said.

“You can still save money by moving energy consumption by, for example, turning on the dishwasher at night. If you have an electric car, or are a high consumer of electricity, even more money can be saved by being a flexible consumer,” he said.