Record warm September leads to lower heating and power bills

Fall weather in Estonia.
Fall weather in Estonia. Source: Merilin Pärli/ ERR

September was the warmest on record in Estonia this year, which had a favorable effect on people's utility bills as power, gas and district heating costs were down on previous years.

September temperatures remained above the long-term average for almost the entire month, making it the warmest September ever recorded in Estonia, data from the national weather service suggests.

While natural gas provider Eesti Gaas' September consumption figures are not in yet, Kersti Tumm, head of communication and marketing for the company, told ERR that based on a model customer's data, gas consumption fell by 42 percent in September year-over-year.

"This reduction can be attributed to warm weather, which has postponed the start of the heating season," Tumm said.

The same model customer's gas bill has fallen tenfold.

"This is primarily down to price difference – a year ago, the price of gas was €2.65 per cubic meter, while it is €0.46 per cubic meter today," the spokesperson said.

Armen Kasparov, head of the energy products department of Eesti Energia, suggested that an average temperature rise of one degree reduces energy consumption by 1 percent, while this effect gets bigger as the weather gets colder.

"Eesti Energia customers' energy consumption was down 6 percent in September compared to the same month last year," Kasparov said, adding that the average home user consumed 200 kilowatt-hours of power in September.

Customers whose energy package is based on the market price saw an average reduction of €27 in September on year. In addition to reduced consumption, the price of electricity was €13.63 cents per kWh this September, while it was €27.43/kWh.

At the same time, the average national universal electricity service consumer paid €13 more in September this year compared to those who have opted for Eesti Energia's Kindel 12 fixed-price package, which is why Kasparov recommends switching off the national service now. The universal service was introduced at a time of soaring energy prices last year as a way to offer cheaper energy at regulated prices.

Warm weather also postponed the start of the central heating season. Katriin Vasar, head of marketing and communication for Adven Eesti, said that the heating season started late and consumption has been down a third on year. Heating prices have also come down considerably.

Vasar said that prices are down 15-40 percent in different central heating zones.

Olga Petrova, head of marketing and communication for Utilitas, said that the average temperature in September remaining close to most buildings' balance point temperature of 14-18 degrees led to reduced need for heating. "For example, if the building's balance point temperature is 14 degrees, heating must start when the outside temperature falls below 14 degrees," Petrova said.

September consumption and bills were lower also for customers of districting heating provider Gren in Pärnu, Tartu, Kohtla-Järve and Jõhvi, while the company could not provide figures yet.

The average temperature was a whopping 15.6 degrees in September in Estonia, up considerably from 12.2 degrees between 1991-2020. The second warmest September on record occurred in 1934 when the monthly average was 15.1 degrees.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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