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Competition and contracts in the Nordic residential electricity markets

  • Littlechild, Stephen

The main Nordic residential electricity markets (Norway, Sweden and Finland) effectively opened to retail competition around 1998. They have not been subject to regulatory controls on prices or other contract terms. Between 11 and 29 per cent of residential customers have switched suppliers and between a fifth and a half of all residential customers have chosen alternative contractual terms of supply. These alternatives include fixed price contracts ranging from 3 months to five years duration, as well as spot-price related terms, instead of the standard variable tariffs. The use of these alternatives is increasing over time, and there is considerable product innovation. This paper surveys these developments and illustrates with case studies of significant suppliers in each Nordic market. The market is thus ascertaining and bringing about the outcomes that customers prefer. Without retail competition, it is not clear how regulation will replicate this aspect of the market process.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Utilities Policy.

Volume (Year): 14 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 135-147

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:14:y:2006:i:3:p:135-147
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  1. Littlechild Stephen C., 2002. "Competition in Retail Electricity Supply," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-26, June.
  2. Ole Jess Olsen & Klaus Skytte, 2003. "Competition and Market Power in Northern Europe," Chapters, in: Competition in European Electricity Markets, chapter 7 Edward Elgar.
  3. Evens SALIES & Catherine WADDAMS, 2004. "Charges, costs and market power in the deregulated UK electricity retail market," Industrial Organization 0406003, EconWPA.
  4. Monica Giulietti & Catherine Waddams Price & Michael Waterson, 2005. "Consumer Choice and Competition Policy: a Study of UK Energy Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 949-968, October.
  5. Paul L. Joskow, 2003. "The Difficult Transition to Competitive Electricity Markets in the U.S," Working Papers 0308, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  6. Richard Green & Tanga McDaniel, 1998. "Competition in electricity supply: will ‘1998’ Be worth it?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(3), pages 273-293, August.
  7. Nils-Henrik M. von der Fehr, Eirik S. Amundsen and Lars Bergman, 2005. "The Nordic Market: Signs of Stress?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 71-98.
  8. Evens Salies and Catherine Waddams Price, 2004. "Charges, Costs and Market Power: the Deregulated UK Electricity Retail Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 19-36.
  9. Eirik S. Amundsen & Lars Bergman, 2003. "The Deregulated Electricity Markets in Norway and Sweden: A Tentative Assessment," Chapters, in: Competition in European Electricity Markets, chapter 5 Edward Elgar.
  10. Paul L. Joskow, 1998. "Electricity Sectors in Transition," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 25-52.
  11. Atle Midttun & Joar Handeland & Terje Omland, 2003. "The Nordic Public Ownership Model Under Transition to Market Economy: The Case of Electricity," Chapters, in: Competition in European Electricity Markets, chapter 6 Edward Elgar.
  12. Littlechild, Stephen C, 2003. "Wholesale Spot Price Pass-Through," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 61-91, January.
  13. Littlechild, S., 2004. "‘UK domestic energy contracts, the 28 day rule, and experience in Sweden’," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0431, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  14. Littlechild, Stephen, 2006. "Residential energy contracts and the 28 day rule," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 44-62, March.
  15. Stephen C. Littlechild, 2001. "Competition And Regulation In The U.K. Electricity Industry (With A Brief Look At California)," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 13(4), pages 21-38.
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