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The Swedish District Heating Market

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Published
February 26, 2010
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Abstract
The purpose of this investigation is to further the current discussion of how the Swedish market for district heating can be made more competitive and effective. This is done by investigating how price, costs of production and profitability of district heating varies with ownership, a variable frequently held accountable for financial performance variations in natural monopoly markets. The investigation is based on financial and technical performance data from 203 firms from 2007 and 2008, compiled by the Swedish Energy Market Inspectorate. The results strongly indicate that private firms are more profitable than firms owned, fully or partly, by local government. Furthermore, the results find that higher profitability tends to be positively correlated with prices, rather than negatively with costs of production. The results speak in favor of private ownership under regulation, rather than the current mixture of public and unregulated private ownership.

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