Variable Electricity Prices

Due to supply and demand variations, there are variable electricity prices. The electricity production from variable sources such as wind power and solar power increases. As a result, electricity price variations become larger.

Especially for larger electricity users it is possible to get electricity supply contracts with such variable prices. The base for the variable price is the power exchange market (EPEX).  These markets quote the electricity prices for “the next day” (day-ahead).

Variable electricity prices as a result of trade on the EPEX
Example of EPEX Spot Power NL daily for 19th December 2018.  Prices (per hour) in Euro/MWh (scale on right-hand side).

With a variable electricity price contract, you will usually have to specify the amount of electricity you plan to use for the next day. Moreover, you need to do that before you know the “day ahead” prices. As a result, you cannot really plan your electricity use based on the actual day ahead prices. But you can have a contract in which the “deviations” from your planned usage are priced at the EPEX rate. And consequently, you can still use load shifting to your advantage.