Denmark to reduce temperature and turn off illumination at public buildings

Public buildings in Denmark will feel the effects of the energy crisis with cost-cutting measures to be introduced.

Denmark to reduce temperature and turn off illumination at public buildings
Public buildings like Christiansborg Palace will not be illuminated from the outside this winter. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Illumination of public buildings will be switched off more often and thermostats will be set to 19 degrees Celsius, Climate, Energy and Critical Supplies Minister Dan Jørgensen said at a briefing in Copenhagen on Thursday.

“We need to save on energy and we need to do it now. To that end, we have decided the public sector should take the lead,” Jørgensen said.

“The temperature indoors should be reduced to 19 degrees unless special circumstances require it to be higher. The temperature has normally been between 21 and 23 degrees,” he said.

The decision will take the form of an order issued to state buildings, while buildings belonging to municipal and regional authorities will receive recommendations asking them to follow suit.

Care homes, preschools and hospitals are not affected by the decision to reduce temperatures.

“It’s very good if you can save energy. But when there are special requirements, you must also make special considerations. That’s why [these services] are exempted from this measure,” Jørgensen said.

Illumination of buildings will also be reduced in an energy-saving measure.

“We will switch off all outdoors lighting. Buildings that are illuminated because they are nice to look at but where this has no practical use will therefore not be illuminated,” Jørgensen said.

The heating season – which normally begins on October 1st – will also be shortened by delaying it until inside temperatures drop to under 19 degrees Celsius. As such, radiators will not be switched on in public buildings until temperatures dip below this level.

READ ALSO: How much will Danish energy bills go up this winter?

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Danish heating company asks customers not to turn on heating

Hofor, an energy company which supplies district heating and gas in Copenhagen, said on Monday that residents should hold off for now before switching on the heating in their homes.

Danish heating company asks customers not to turn on heating

The Danish “heating season” or fyringssæson – when homes and businesses generally start switching on the heating – begins at the end of this week, on October 1st.

But advice issued by on Monday by energy company Hofor urged customers to hold off a little longer before turning on thermostats.

“We need to get out warm socks and blankets and try to delay turning on the heating until the indoor temperature falls below 19 degrees (Celsius),” Hofor’s CEO Henrik Plougmann Olsen said in a press statement.

The company supplies district heating and gas in Copenhagen Municipality and also manages drinking and wastewater in the capital area.

The Hofor statement comes at a time when the energy crisis in Europe is set to have a more noticeable impact on homes and businesses as the colder seasons approach.

The issue is prominent on the Danish political agenda. Parliamentary parties on Friday announced a new package of financial measures for families and businesses affected by energy costs.

READ ALSO: How much will electricity tax cut save bill payers in Denmark?

“We hear daily about high energy prices and concerns about the energy situation in Europe. Although Hofor is well equipped to send heat out to Copenhagen living rooms, we will be in better shape for the coming winter if everyone uses as little energy as possible,” the company said.

“Everyone who has a radiator or underfloor heating can do something. Keep an eye on room temperature and refrain from turning up the heating. 19 degrees is the room temperature [lower limit] that has been introduced for state buildings. Hofor asks all households to try to keep to the same level,” it said.

“When rooms fall below 19 degrees it’s all about turning up as little as possible and using the heat as best as possible,” Olsen said.

Energy can be saved by moving furniture away from radiators and limiting use of hot water, he said. The company has issued a list of recommended energy saving measures (in Danish) on its website. The measures will both conserve energy stores in Denmark while reducing bills, Olsen said.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: When should I turn on my heating in Denmark this year?

Hofor normally informs customers of its rates for district heating in December.

The company said it was working to establish what customers can expect to pay next year.

“At Hofor we are working on analysis of next year’s district heating price but it is difficult to say at the moment,” Olsen said in the statement.

“The energy market is still very unpredictable and a number of EU interventions could have an effect which we currently don’t know. But we are working hard to protect our district heating customers as well as possible amid all sorts of other price increases,” he said.