Norwegian green energy fund criticised over low payouts

Enova have reportedly paid out less than a third of the money it allocated for this year to help households save energy. Pictured is a row of houses in Oslo.
Enova have reportedly paid out less than a third of the money it allocated for this year to help households save energy. Pictured is a row of houses in Oslo. Photo by Nick Night on Unsplash
Enova, the state-owned enterprise tasked with helping homes invest in green energy-saving measures, has been criticised for not distributing enough financial support to households. 

Private households in Norway pay out around 400 million kroner per year in fees to the Energy Fund, Enova uses to offer grants, funding and subsidies to homes and housing associations looking to save energy.  

Enova, in turn, has an agreement with the state whereby it has to make 300 million kroner in funding and support available to households. 

With just over a couple of months to go until the end of the year, the fund has handed out just over a third of that figure, public broadcaster NRK reported on Tuesday.

The firm also didn’t manage to spend the allocated funding last year either.

The Homeowners National Association and the Co-operative Housing Federation of Norway (NBBL) criticised Enova over the low payouts. 

 “When large sums are unused at the end of the year because you are unable to distribute them, then the support programs you have do not work,” Bård Folke Fredriksen, managing director of the NBBL, told NRK. 

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Morten Andreas Meyer, secretary-general of the Homeowners National Association, said the current system wasn’t working and said that homeowners funding benefited industrial companies rather than households. 

“Ordinary homeowners subsidise large support measures from Enova to the country’s largest industrial companies. That’s not how we want it,” Meyer said to NRK.

Environment and climate minister Espen Barth Eide defended the current system but acknowledged the issue of money being leftover and not being used as agreed.

“I do not think the people are wrong, nor do I have any basis for saying that there is anything wrong with Enova. But there is something wrong with this money being left behind,” he said to the public broadcaster. 

He also added that any leftover public money is transferred to next year’s pot for homeowners rather than spent elsewhere.


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