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
Hofor's power plant on the island of Amager outside of Copenhagen. The company has asked district heating customers to wait before switching on radiators as autumn temperatures approach. File photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix

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.

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Danish consumers urged to keep conserving energy to avoid high costs

Although the price of electricity has recently fallen back from recent recent sky-high levels, it’s important that Danish consumers don’t return their usage habits to normal, energy experts say.

Danish consumers urged to keep conserving energy to avoid high costs

Energy prices in Denmark are currently lower than they were in the late summer and early autumn, but experts say that turning heating up to full blast – and generally scrapping measures to reduce consumption – will still result in costly bills.

While prices were high, many people in Denmark adapted their consumption habits in an effort to preserve stores and avoid high costs.

Public buildings and many businesses meanwhile implemented lower temperatures on thermostats, and power-hungry activities such as outdoor ice rinks or Christmas lighting were cancelled or cut back.


With the weather now colder, energy prices are currently low.

That is partly because Denmark’s gas reserves that serve as an emergency backup are full, while issues at European power plants that exacerbated the crisis have been largely resolved. 

The cold weather and lower prices may tempt many to return to former habits and turn heating up as usual. But this could still see energy bills eventually hit record levels, experts have warned.

“We will have to think about what we use our electricity and gas for and make savings where we can,” Jim Vilsson, senior economist at state-owned energy company Energinet told broadcaster TV2.

“Otherwise, we could end up in a situation where we again risk being short of energy,” he said.

Data from Nordic energy stock market Nord Pool, reported by TV2, show the unit price of electricity hitting 4.36 kroner per kilowatt hour (not including fees and taxes) in late August.

The price was 0.9 kroner per kilowatt hour as of November 20th.

Gas prices similarly peaked in late August and before falling, but are higher than they were in November 2021.

READ ALSO: At what time of the day is electricity cheapest in Denmark?

“Supply wise we are well stocked at the moment. We have got the European gas strores filled well up and they are actually completely full in Denmark,” Vilsson told TV2.

Gas stocks remained full further into the late autumn than usual, according to raw material analyst Ole Sloth Hansen of Saxo Bank.

“We have only just seen gas stocks be reduced and this was three weeks later than normal. So we have lots of gas, but we’re not home and dry yet,” Hansen told TV2.

Consumers in Denmark have meanwhile reduced their consumption by an average of around 10 percent.

“The market is a little better than it was before. But I’m putting extra emphasis on ‘little’, because it’s based on a situation where we expect a relatively normal or mild winter,” Vilsson said.

Increased consumption could help to push current lower prices back up as well as deplete stocks, he warned.

“We have been able to keep prices down because we have stood together and been good at saving. If we go back to normal, we could be in a situation again where we will lack gas, coal or electricity,” he said.

READ ALSO: How do I check my Danish electricity plan and decide whether to change?