Questions and answers about electricity

There can be many aspects of electricity and the electricity market that may not be so easy to understand. We have therefore collected a number of frequently asked questions and answers about electricity on this page.

High voltage mast

What is electricity?

Electricity is a fundamental force in nature that plays a vital role in our modern lives. On the surface it may seem like magic, but it is a scientifically understandable phenomenon. Electricity is a form of energy that originates from the movement of electrically charged particles, called electrons.

Everything in our world is made up of atoms, and atoms are made up of three basic components: protons, neutrons and electrons. Electrons are the smallest particles and have a negative charge. When electrons move, they create an electric current. This can happen naturally, as in lightning or in the form of static electricity when you rub a balloon against your hair, or it can be controlled and used to power electrical appliances.

According to the first law of thermodynamics, energy cannot arise or disappear, it can only change into other forms and be transferred between different energy carriers. The power you have in your socket must therefore come from a place where energy is converted into electricity. In Norway, the most common energy source is hydropower.

What is a kWh?

kWh stands for kilowatt-hour, and is a unit that tells how much energy is used in one hour. Kilo means a thousand. So for example, if you have a 1000 watt oven on for one hour, you have used 1 kilowatt-hour. For a light bulb, which may only consume 10 watt, it will take 100 hours (just over 4 days) before you have used 1 kWh.

What is spot price?

Most electricity companies in Europe buy electricity on a common market place, such as Nord Pool. All power plants that produce electricity and electricity companies that supply electricity to homes and businesses meet there. Based on supply and demand, prices are set for each hour and each area, one day in advance. Some countries, such as Norway, are divided into several different price areas, each of which has its own spot price.

What determines the electricity spot price?

Supply and demand determine the price of electricity in Europe. If there is a high production of electricity from power plants and demand is low, the price will fall. If, on the other hand, the production of electricity is small and demand is high, prices will increase. Therefore, the price of electricity is often highest in winter, as the need for electricity for heating is highest.

What uses the most electricity at home?

Heating certainly uses the most electricity, closely followed by hot water and charging electric cars. Electrical appliances such as TVs, mobile phones and computers use very little electricity in relation to heating.