Liquids were used in larger amounts by Icelanders last year than in previous years, one cold and alcoholic, the other hot and non-alcoholic.
First, let’s talk about beer. There were 745,000 liters (197,000 gallons) of Christmas beer sold by Vínbúðin, the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland, last Christmas, Vísir reports. This represents an 11.4 percent increase from 2014, when 669,000 liters were sold. The 33,000 liters which remained unsold on January 6 will be sent back to suppliers and producers, where most of the liquid will be discarded. Some would call that a waste of valuable liquid.
Last year was a record year, too, in terms of Icelanders’ use of hot water, Vísir reports. The usage in the Greater Reykjavík Area, served by the company Veitur, amounted to almost 83 million cubic meters (please note that beer and hot water are not measured the same way, one in liters, the other in cubic meters), which is a 10 percent increase from the previous year.
According to Eiríkur Hjálmarsson, public relations officer for Veitur, this is the largest increase in the use of hot water since the turn of the century.
The weather is the main reason for increased usage, since about 90 percent of hot water goes into heating houses. Temperature, hours of sunlight and wind all affect the demand for hot water.
“The year started out rather cold and the first six months all broke a record compared to earlier years. Right at that point it was clear we would break a usage record,” Eiríkur explained.
The proportion of hot water provided by the geothermal plants on Hellisheiði and Nesjavellir gradually increases. It accounted for 53 percent in 2015.
Outside the capital region, Veitur provides hot water in South and West Iceland. The total usage in those areas last year was 13.3 million cubic meters. Thus, last year’s total usage of hot water provided by Veitur was 96.3 million cubic meters.
We have not been able to obtain information on whether there is a correlation between weather and the consumption of beer.