Swedish households slash electricity use under high prices

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Swedish households slashed their electricity use in September and October, with consumption dropping by nearly a quarter in areas with the highest prices, Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reported on Tuesday.

"Electricity use has dropped like a stone," Jesper Liverod from electricity company Ellevio told DN.

Sweden is divided into four areas with different electricity pricing, and in some regions in the south where consumers pay the most per kilowatt-hour (kWh), consumption dropped by nearly 25 percent compared to the average of previous years.

"It is likely we will see an even greater decrease in November," Liverod told DN.

Utility company Eon has seen a similar drop, with households in Stockholm and further south lowering consumption by 19 percent in September, and 18 percent in October.

In the northern part of the country, where prices are usually considerably lower, Eon has seen a 12 percent decrease in usage in October, DN reported.

National power grid operator Svenska kraftnat has warned that in the event of a very cold winter, households could find themselves temporarily without electricity. However, Liverod told DN that the fact that households have adapted to the higher prices means there is a lower risk of blackouts occurring.

"The electricity supply will be more balanced, which decreases the risk that parts of the grid must be disconnected during shorter periods when there is an electricity shortage to prevent even worse consequences," he said.

Since Europe was plunged into an energy crisis due to the impact of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine on gas deliveries, Swedish people have become used to unusually high energy prices.

Electricity prices in Sweden have repeatedly soared to record highs during the last few months, with peaks of close to eight kronor (about 76 U.S. cents) per kWh.

According to Statistics Sweden, prices increased by an average of 25.6 percent in October compared to the same month last year. (1 Swedish krona = 0.095 U.S. dollar)

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