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Danish housing companies ask residents to turn on radiators

Public housing authorities in several municipalities are urging Danish households to end their autumn hold-outs and turn radiators on for the approaching winter.

Danish housing companies ask residents to turn on radiators
Housing associations in Denmark have called for residents to turn the dial on their radiators despite potential high energy prices. File photo:Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Between an unusually mild autumn and steep energy prices, many families have bundled up rather than start the radiators for the year, broadcaster DR reports.

But the risk of toxic mould means you shouldn’t postpone any longer, housing authorities have warned.

A number of measures at public and private workplaces have sought to save energy consumption in advance of predicted high prices and potential shortages.

Households have also refrained from using heating, aided by a milder autumn than usual.

Denmark’s heating season or fyringssæson usually begins at the start of October.

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Companies that run Denmark’s subsidised rental housing (almene boligselskaber) say that residents should now turn their heating up to avoid the risk of mould.

Additionally, homes should be aired regularly to prevent conditions that allow mould to grow.

Linen should not be dried indoors where possible.

“We are all aware that we are in a serious situation with rising energy prices across the country and we have therefore all been encouraged to think about our energy use,” the largest housing association in Ballerup Municipality, Baldersbo, wrote in a letter distributed locally and reported by DR.

The company, which administers 3,700 homes in the area, said that “a lacking of heating in homes can cause serious internal climate problems in the form of mould.”

“People dry their clothes, they have varying behaviours in their homes which can cause problems if it’s not warm enough,” the housing company’s director Søren S. Christiansen told DR.

Ballerup is not the only locality where the issue has been raised. A housing association in Jutland town Viborg has issued a similar message to 5,500 residents, DR writes.

In new construction buildings, keeping all rooms at a minimum of 18 degrees might be enough, experts told DR.

For older buildings, especially “brick homes built between the 1930s and 1960s,” residents should aim for 20 degrees, energy and interior climate expert Tue Patursson of housing research institute Videncentret Bolius said to the broadcaster.

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ENERGY

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.

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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?

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