Your electricity bill can quickly increase by NOK 5,000 if you agree to additional services

Your electricity bill can quickly increase by NOK 5,000 if you agree to additional services

A customer who says yes to all the additional services offered by one of the major electricity companies should quickly see their electricity bill increase by NOK 4,000-5,000 per year. The Consumer Council describes the additional products as “unnecessary”.

The short version

Few people read their monthly electricity bill carefully. We let the online bank direct debit take care of them.

Therefore, many people do not realize that at some point they have agreed to a number of so-called additional services other than the electricity itself.

The most common of these services are the various insurances linked to the electricity bill, or guaranteeing the production of electricity with renewable energy. The latest offering is advice regarding online identity theft.

It all ends up on your electricity bill, as additional services with names like “Green Choice,” “Norwegian Hydropower,” “Safe Everyday Living,” “Predictable Payment,” and “Identity Guard.”

The consumer council is crucial.

-We know that they actively lobby customers, preferably by phone. They are often free for a trial period. But then it becomes part of the electricity bill and disappears from the minds of many, says Inger-Lise Blèverket, director of the Consumer Council.

Electricity bills can vary greatly from month to month. Therefore, it may be difficult to get an overview of the total amount of these services.

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The answer is more often than you think, as Aftenposten's review shows.

This is not something we recommend, says Consumer Council Director Inger Lise Blèverket about the additional services offered by electricity companies.

NOK 4,500 – additionally

The average household in eastern Norway would have had an electricity bill 33 percent higher than last year if it had purchased all the additional services offered by Fortum.

In months with low consumption and low prices, additional services will account for more than half of the bill from Norway's largest electricity company.

This is demonstrated by Aftenposten's calculations for a household with an annual consumption of 16,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). See table below.

Last year, this family paid approx. NOK 13,900 to Fortum for the electricity itself (after deducting the electricity subsidy).

Additional services will then amount to just over NOK 4,500 in add-ons.

For a typical family in a detached house, with an annual consumption of 20,000 kWh, the bill will increase more in krone, but by a slightly lower percentage.

Strong increase

Fortum subsidiary Norgesenergi has reduced the price of its “Identity Security” service. For their customers, the bill will increase by approx. 27 percent.

Main competitor Fjordkraft sells three additional services, compared to the four offered by Fortum and Norgesenergi. Therefore, its increase is somewhat lower, at 22 percent last year.

So the percentages provided show how much The bill is from the electricity company increases with. Online rental costs are excluded.

“Smart charging” for customers who do not have an electric car

– Our experience is that these services are rarely needed by the client. The Consumer Council director says they don't do much except make your electric bill more expensive.

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It is enough for the subscriber to answer “yes” in a telephone conversation with the electricity company’s sales representative for the additional services to be added.

-Are there any of these products that you think look reasonable for their price?

– No, these services are generally expensive and unnecessary, and we do not recommend them.

Bleverket adds:

– We know that the “smart charging” service has been sold to customers who do not own an electric car. Many of them also have the same service as part of the charging equipment they have installed.

Remember to read the following: If you have just opened the PDF file containing your monthly bill from the electricity companies, it is quite possible to see what you may be paying for in various additional services.

– Customers make informed choices

At Fortum, they don't agree to sell services that customers don't need.

-We are concerned that customers make informed choices based on their needs. Fortum provides more services than just electricity. Our customer feedback shows that more satisfied people have – and use – more of our services,

said Ole Kroken, Business Director at Fortum Strøm.

Bliverket believes that electric customers should think about electricity in the same way they think about water delivered to the wall of their home.

– No one thinks they need to buy additional insurance or an ID card when paying for the water they get from the municipality. She says: If you make this connection, you see that these additional services provided by electricity selling companies have nothing to do with the main product itself.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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