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Regulated and unregulated Nordic retail prices

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  • Johnsen, Tor Arnt
  • Olsen, Ole Jess

Abstract

Nordic residential electricity consumers can now choose among a number of contracts and suppliers. A large number of households have continued to purchase electricity from the incumbent supplier at default contract terms. In this paper, we compare the situation for such passive customers. Danish default prices are regulated whereas default prices in the other countries are unregulated. Systematic price differences exist among the Nordic countries. However, as wholesale prices sometimes differ the gross margin is a more relevant indicator. Regulated gross margins are lower in Denmark than in Sweden but higher than in Norway and Finland. Because of market design Norwegian default contracts are competitive whereas Swedish contracts provide the retailer with some market power. We interpret the low Finnish margins as a result of municipal retailers continuing traditional pricing from the monopoly period. Danish margins are higher than the competitive Norwegian margins but are earned from a much lower level of consumption. The annually margins earned per consumer are very close in the two countries, which indicates that the Danish regulation is achieving its objective of approaching competitive prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnsen, Tor Arnt & Olsen, Ole Jess, 2011. "Regulated and unregulated Nordic retail prices," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3337-3345, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:6:p:3337-3345
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Littlechild, Stephen, 2006. "Competition and contracts in the Nordic residential electricity markets," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 135-147, September.
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    6. Olsen, Ole Jess & Johnsen, Tor Arnt & Lewis, Philip, 2006. "A Mixed Nordic Experience: Implementing Competitive Retail Electricity Markets for Household Customers," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(9), pages 37-44, November.
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    9. Littlechild, S.C., 2000. "Why We Need Electricity Retailers: A Reply to Joskow on Wholesale Spot Price pass-through," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0008, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hanimann, Raphael & Vinterbäck, Johan & Mark-Herbert, Cecilia, 2015. "Consumer behavior in renewable electricity: Can branding in accordance with identity signaling increase demand for renewable electricity and strengthen supplier brands?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 11-21.
    2. Debbie Dupuis, Geneviève Gauthier, and Fréderic Godin, 2016. "Short-term Hedging for an Electricity Retailer," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).

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