When tens of thousands of households have switched to hourly price agreements, there are signs that more people are consuming electricity at cheaper times of the day. However, the rush has meant that the electricity grid companies find it difficult to keep up and thus live up to the electricity law.Published: 12 October 2022, 05:25The sticker companies that only sell hourly rates have timed their business perfectly. Greenely has grown significantly and today has 32,200 customers. Colleague Tibber has doubled the number of customers in Sweden in the past six months. Overall, the company has half a million customers, but how many are Swedish is a secret, according to press contact Anna Anderberg. There is also no aggregate data on what it looks like, Statistics Sweden does not measure it, yet in any case, and the companies themselves are secretive. But that it is a matter of strong growth, many tens of thousands of new hourly customers, is not a bold guess. At the electricity giant Vattenfall, 8.4 percent of all customers with variable contracts now have hourly price contracts. That figure was five percent at the start of 2021. Ten times more so far this year than in all of 2021 have jumped on hourly rates, Eon says, albeit from low levels. The rush for hourly electricity contracts has resulted in extra work for the electricity distributors. They are the ones who have to manage the measurement in order for the hourly rate to be possible, and the Electricity Act states that it may take a maximum of three months to change. , while the electricity grid companies are probably less amused.”It is taking longer than before and a number of companies are having quite big problems with the transition. A lot of manual handling it seems. Both the classic big companies and the smaller ones have problems,” says Anna Anderberg at Tibber. Among the electricity distributors, one holds partly with, even if you want to downplay the problem. According to information from some of the electricity retailers that TT has been in contact with, Vattenfall Eldistribución is one of the network companies with problems to catch up. These are customers who have to wait more than four months, i.e. longer than the three months that the Electricity Act specifies as the maximum time. This is how Vattenfall Eldistribution responds: “We are not able to fully reschedule all customers who want an hourly contract within three months. At the moment, there are a few customers who have to wait a little longer,” the company greets in an email reply. want to switch to an hourly contract.”But we can handle it. And the reason for that is that we have come a long way in the exchange of electricity meters.” The grid companies that do not live up to the three-month rule risk fines from the Energy Markets Inspectorate (EI), where you as a consumer can make a report. At a previous inspection this year, seven out of ten network companies did not meet the requirements, and then there was not at all the same pressure as now. There are plans to carry out a new inspection if resources are available, says EI. But far from everyone benefits from switching to hourly contracts. It requires being able to control your electricity consumption to hours of the day, especially evenings, nights and weekends, when electricity is normally cheaper. If not, the point is less, it might even be more expensive.“We have noticed an increased interest from customers who want to switch back from, for example, Tibber,” says Jespert Liveröd. The effect of more hourly price agreements should theoretically lead to electricity usage being re-controlled somewhat over the day to times when electricity is cheaper. Vattenfall Eldistribution says it has not noticed this yet, but writes in an email response: “You should be able to see a smaller change over time in the future, and then mainly in the points in the network that have a high customer density. If you add larger customers’ reductions in their consumption, it should become somewhat clearer”. At the industry organization Energiföretagen, there are internal calculations that indicate that electricity consumption has decreased slightly during the day, with the exception of the morning hours, and that use has increased during the cheaper low-load hours, i.e. late evenings, nights and weekends. The calculations are so far preliminary and not public, hence the person wishes to remain anonymous. The Energy Agency also has some statistics that indicate that the decline in percentage is somewhat greater during the day. But according to unit manager Martin Johansson, one should be careful about pulling any major gears on it. A deep dive into the numbers would be needed. “But it could have an effect if many people get an hourly rate,” he says.
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