Norwegian government to increase energy bills subsidy to 80 percent

Pictured are power lines in Drammen, south-east Norway.
The government has said it will increase the share of the bill it covers. Pictured are power lines in Drammen, south-east Norway where prices have been high. Photo by Anna Valberg on Unsplash
Norway’s government says it will further increase a subsidy for energy bills as households struggle with rising electricity prices.

Following calls from other parties and pressure groups, the government will increase its support package aimed at helping households feel the squeeze of record energy prices.

“We have a power system that is reliant on precipitation, reservoir levels and the energy situation in Europe. This has put us in an extreme situation lately with sky high prices. The market does not take social considerations into account, but we (the government) can do that,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told newspaper VG.

The original package was brought in December and saw the government pick up 55 percent of the bill when the spot price, the cost of raw energy firms pay, rises above 70 øre per kilowatt hour.

The opposition and critics subsequently said that the scheme wasn’t enough. The government subsequently said it will cover 80 percent of electricity bills, subject to a vote in parliament.

The Socialist Left Party, which the country’s minority government relies on for pushing proposals through parliament, has said it would back the increased subsidy, giving the added support a majority.

READ ALSO: Five things that are becoming more expensive in Norway (and why)

The consumption cap of 5,000 kilowatt hours will remain in place. The increased support will raise the estimated cost of the package to around 8.9 billion kroner, the energy ministry said in a statement.

According to calculations by business and finance publication E24, the new support scheme will shave around a third of household energy bills, based on a consumption of 2,000-kilowatt hours at an average price of around 1.50 kroner.

The new subsidy will apply from January, meaning the deduction will appear on the bill for that month when it arrives in February.

The scheme began in December 2021 and will run until March of this year.


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