Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) counts
The current energy situation in Sweden and the rest of Europe is severe. Electricity prices are high and could rise even further. There is also a risk of electricity shortage at certain hours this coming winter. Joint efforts to reduce our electricity consumption can improve the situation. Below you will find information about the situation, why we should reduce our electricity consumption, and how you can contribute.
Why should we save electricity?
The war in Ukraine has had consequences on the Swedish electricity supply. It has resulted in high electricity prices and fewer opportunities for electricity import when needed. To improve the situation, we all need to contribute to reduce our electricity consumption. Listed below are three reasons why:
To reduce the cost of electricity.
The high electricity prices are challenging for most people. By reducing your electricity consumption you can reduce your expenses and thus save money. Reduced electricity demand can also have a positive impact on the price in general. When the electricity demand decreases, so do the electricity prices.
To reduce the risk of electricity shortages during winter.
When we consume less electricity, or move consumption to times when the overall demand is lower, we reduce the strain on the power grid and thereby lower the risk of power outage caused by imbalance between supply and demand. It is critical that we act now to ensure the best possible conditions for the coming winter, when the situation might become more strained.
To show solidarity.
Reducing our own electricity consumption will not only contribute to better circumstances for all people in Sweden, but for our neighbouring countries as well. Sweden contributes to the reduction of fossil fuel-based energy demand in the continent by exporting clean electricity based on fossil-free generation.
This is what we can do
- We all need to contribute to the reduction of our collective electricity consumption, and today’s actions can impact the situation of tomorrow. Even the slightest adjustment can make a significant impact if we all contribute. Every kilowatt-hour counts. What you do at home and how you contribute at work makes just as much of a difference. The recommendations are simple but effective.
Time your electricity consumption wisely.
Do the laundry, wash the dishes and charge the electric vehicle when electricity consumption from industry, public activities and households is at its lowest. This is typically in the middle of the day, at night and during the weekend. This is one of the most important measures you can take to minimize the strain on the power grid. However, always consider fire safety.
Turn down your indoor heating.
This is especially important if you have an electric heating system. Bringing indoor heating down by one degree can decrease the energy consumption for heating by roughly five percent. In addition, shifting your electric heating to the middle of the day and during the night will benefit the power grid.
Use less hot water.
Take shorter showers and run your dishwasher and washing machine on full load. By switching to water-saving tap nozzles and shower heads, you can reduce your hot water consumption by up to 40 percent.
Turn off electric equipment and lights.
Turn off all electric equipment when leaving a room. Switch to LED bulbs as they consume four to five times less electricity compared to halogen bulbs.
Add insulation in buildings.
Up to a third of the heat in a building escapes through windows and doors. If you are planning a renovation, make sure to add insulation.
Consider the way you consume electricity and what you use it for.
Avoid unnecessary use of electricity and high consuming electric appliances, such as electric underfloor heating systems, saunas, and tumble driers. If you must have the underfloor heating on, make sure to keep it at the same temperature as the rest of the house to avoid unnecessary electricity consumption.
How much can we save?
According to Svenska kraftnät, the Swedish electricity transmission system operator, the risk of manual disconnection of the electricity supply can be reduced by 80 percent if we were to reduce our electricity consumption by two percent. The same applies if we were to shift two percent of our electricity usage away from the morning and evening peak periods.
Two percent of the total electricity consumption in Sweden amounts to around 3 TWh (terawatt-hours). This is roughly equal to what we can collectively save in the residential sector alone by lowering our indoor heating by one degree and halving our usage of hot water. (1 degree saves roughly 1 TWh and halving hot water consumption about 2 TWh.)
Flatten the curve
Reduced electricity use during peak load hours leads to a reduced risk of manual disconnection.
Ask an energy and climate counsellor
Energy and climate counselling is a service provided by the country’s municipalities to help you reduce your energy consumption and become more energy-smart. The service is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency and is both free of charge and commercially independent.
Energy and climate counselling is available for:
● private individuals
● small and medium-sized enterprises
● tenant-owner associations
● private apartment building owners
This is why we are issuing these recommendations right now
We are currently experiencing an exceptional situation in Europe, with a war that is having major repercussions on the energy markets, ultimately leading to high electricity prices. Given this situation, we must use less electricity. Many people are keen to know how they can contribute to easing the situation. We are also approaching a colder, darker season, the so-called "heating season", with indoor heating turned on and higher overall electricity consumption.
With this in mind, the Swedish Energy Agency is issuing broad guidance and information to contribute to changed habits and increased knowledge that can reduce electricity usage. The aim is to make a difference, now and during the tough winter season.
In addition, as of 1 October 2022 the Swedish Energy Agency is responsible for co-ordinating preparedness in the energy sector.
Can you save electricity?
In our campaign, we will be using the slogan “save electricity”. However, this is a simplified way of expressing it, as electricity must be consumed as soon as it is generated. Nevertheless, when we reduce our electricity consumption, we save water in our hydropower reservoirs and the fuel required to generate electricity in steam turbines. At the same time, we also reduce costs and ensure that the system is less vulnerable to disruptions.