Maud Olofsson, who is serves in the coalition Alliance government as enterprise and energy minister, came in for criticism last week after responding to complaints about high electricity prices by offering tips on how to save power.
Olofsson has now gone on the offensive, criticising the electricity market in an opinion article in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily on Thursday.
“Therefore the Centre Party and I want to regulate the electricity companies’ pricing. The purpose is to guarantee a reasonable price also for customers who have not made an active choice,” she said.
Customers with fluctuating price plans, so-called “tillsvidareavtal”, which are the default plans offered by many firms for customers not selecting an alternative, are typically the most expensive deals.
Insulate your homes, install triple-glazed windows, replace incandescent bulbs and turn off the lights, was the advice offered by Olofsson last week to combat skyrocketing electricity bills.
The minister explained that insulating the attic would save 3,300 kronor ($513) per year for the average home owner, and added that she had made the investment back in the 1970s in the wake of the oil crisis.
Olofsson’s tips and advice were not however welcomed by all parties.
“I think that very many people view this advice as a provocation,” Joacim Olsson of the Swedish Homeowners Association (Villaägarnas riksförbund) told the TT news agency.
Several days later, the Nordea bank released a survey which showed that every third Swede expressed concern over their upcoming electricity bill.