Few stop to consider what life would be like without electricity; it provides light, heat, and power in our homes and businesses.
What is electricity?
Electricity is the movement of charged particles (ions, protons and electrons) through an electric circuit. As a secondary energy source generated through either renewable or non-renewable resources, electricity provides power for many essential items used every day – from lighting to heating and cooling devices as well as computers and TVs.
Life without electricity would be very different indeed; without it, our homes wouldn’t be able to run lights, heaters and fridges. Work and play would become significantly harder.
Prior to its wide distribution people relied on candles, whale oil lamps and kerosene lanterns for illumination and wood or coal-burning stoves for heat.
Since the 1600s, scientists and inventors have worked to understand how electricity works. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla all made significant contributions towards our understanding of electricity’s principles and its applications.
Today, most of our electricity comes from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas; however, renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro energy also play an important role. No matter which source is chosen to generate our power supply, its basic principles remain the same.
Current is an integral component of electricity, defined as the rate at which charges travel through an electrical circuit in a given period. Current measurements are expressed in units known as amperes (A).
Potential difference, the amount of electrical energy invested in moving a charge through an electric circuit, is measured using the formula V = I/R where R stands for resistance in ohms; V represents voltage in volts and I represents current in amps.
For optimal electricity prices, it is beneficial to know how it is priced globally – this includes understanding purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP ensures that every dollar purchased anywhere around the globe equals $1 in purchasing power terms.
How does electricity work?
Electricity operates under the principles of magnetism and physics.
Electrons, tiny negatively-charged particles found within every atom, are held apart from their nuclei by an electromagnetic force and kept apart via electrical forces. When electrons collide together they produce positive charges which attract magnetic fields that create current electricity when directed along conductive paths like copper wire.
If you’re contemplating switching energy providers, it can help to understand how electricity is produced and distributed in order to make an informed decision. Furthermore, be sure to research all of the rates that may be offered in your state to find the most cost-effective plan.
Most states feature deregulated energy markets that give consumers greater choice and control of their energy needs. Prices depend on multiple factors including supply, demand, regional concerns and taxes or regulations that impact prices.
There are various methods of producing electricity, depending on where you reside.
Fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and petroleum are often utilized as sources for power production while renewable technologies like solar panels, wind turbines and biomass can also play an integral part.
Nuclear power plants provide another major source of electricity while some communities utilize geothermal or hydroelectric systems as additional forms of power generation.
As electricity is produced, it travels along high-voltage transmission lines to distribution substations in local communities before being used by your devices. Although this process seems long, its electromagnetic field was instantly created from a power station hundreds of miles away (thanks, Tesla!).
How can I find the cheapest rates?
At first, the best way to find affordable electricity rates is to research plans available from various energy providers in your area and compare plans available from each. When making this comparison, take note of all charges, fees and contracts that apply.
It’s also essential that you understand what influences electricity rates; generally when demand for power drops (typically during fall and spring), rates tend to drop accordingly. It might also pay to follow long-term market price trends; if analysts expect prices to drop in the near future, now might be an opportunity to lock in a rate.
Consider when selecting your plan which rate type you’d prefer: fixed-rate plans can keep monthly rates stable while variable-rate plans with tiered pricing provide the possibility for lower energy prices at specific times during the day.
Once you’ve found a plan that suits your needs, it is crucial to read carefully through its terms and conditions. Be particularly wary of cancellation fees, early termination fees, contract lengths and minimum usage requirements if applicable.
If you are currently a customer of a utility company in a regulated market, chances are you’re overpaying. Utility companies generally charge higher rates to residential customers than they do to business customers.
Switching to a competitive retail energy provider in a deregulated market is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to save money.
Switching is straightforward; all it requires is ending your contract with your utility company and receiving a bill from your new provider that includes both delivery and supply charges; these should be significantly less than those previously paid.
If you have any questions prior to switching, be sure to contact the power company’s customer service department. They should be able to discuss any additional fees or issues that you should know about ahead of time. They can also give you insight into how their rates are calculated.
What is the Norwegian electricity market like?
Norwegian electricity markets are complex affairs. Prices constantly change due to supply and demand factors; for instance, when production from power plants exceeds demand from customers, prices increase while vice versa.
At present, Norwegian power companies charge quite high rates for their services. There are ways you can save money on your electricity bill such as switching providers – however it’s essential that you understand the market terminology first before searching for better offers.
Norway provides its consumers with three types of electricity plans to choose from, most commonly the standard variable price contract which follows Nord Pool ASA’s power exchange and will vary each month; there are also fixed price plans and spot price agreements which follow market prices directly, therefore allowing consumers to find the bestestrøm for them. This comparison shopping can save money over the long term.
Some price changes may be related to electricity exports via cables to Britain and Germany, which alters prices on the north-south power market and prompts many residents of central and northern Norway to feel that power companies are taking advantage of them by sending too much of it down south; as a result, many are calling on cable-cutting operations.
Price fluctuations are in part the result of limited transmission capacity between different regions in Norway. This has led to power plants in southern Norway making huge profits, while prices in northern regions skyrocket.
Government efforts are underway to bring energy prices under control.
The Norwegian Energy Agency (NVE) recently unveiled plans for reforming the electricity market and has also instituted schemes designed to assist struggling households. In the meantime, consumers are advised to monitor price movements closely and switch companies at any indication of increasing supplements or fees.