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Norway fire services urge against stockpiling of fuel in unsuitable containers

Fire services in Norway say they have seen instances of people using drinks bottles to stockpile fuel when prices drop.

drinks bottle
A senior firefighter in Norway warns against stockpiling fuel in unapproved and illegal containers including plastic drinks bottles. Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

A senior fire fighter in Norway warned the public against responding to high fuel prices by stockpiling petrol in small containers when prices are lower, broadcaster NRK reports.

High prices are causing some people to follow the development of the cost per litre closely so they can stock up when there is a dip, according to the report.

“When prices are low, I see this almost daily,” Per Olav Pettersen, head of the Vestfold Intermunicipal Fire Service, told NRK.

Although most people stock up using purpose fuel cans, others use containers not fit for the purpose, he said.

The fire chief said he had observed several incidences from the window of his office, which looks out over a petrol station.

“Most people fill up in approved cans but we are also seeing people use other types of container not approved for this type of use. That could be things like cans for windscreen sprinkler fluid. The worst example is soft drinks bottles,” he said.

Norwegian law permits storage of up to five litres of fuel in garages or sheds, provided that the proper cans are used. Up to ten litres of petrol or diesel can be stored indoors.

But consequences for not using the correct storage can be serious.

“This is because of the fire hazard. In the worst case, the bottles can begin to leak. If you are unlucky and there is a fire in your home or shed, there could be fatal consequences,” Pettersen told NRK.

With regard to storing fuel, the fire chief said “we cannot stop people from doing it within the limits set by the law, but recommend people are careful”.

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MONEY

EXPLAINED: What the revised national budget in Norway means for foreigners 

The Norwegian government has presented its revised budget for 2022. Here's The Local's roundup of some of the key proposals and what they mean for your wallet.

EXPLAINED: What the revised national budget in Norway means for foreigners 

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The government will replace the VAT exemption for electric cars with a subsidy scheme. This means that electric cars that cost over 500,000 kroner will be subject to VAT, while EVs that cost less will be exempt from VAT. 

The government has said the cost of buying an EV with a sticker price of 600,000 would become 25,000 kroner more expensive. 

An EV costing more than a million kroner will become 125,000 kroner pricier, according to the government’s proposals. 

“If you can afford to buy a car for 1.7 million, it is only fair and reasonable that you also pay VAT,” Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum said of the announcement

The scheme will come into effect next year. 

Free ferry tickets

All ferry journeys on routes with less than 100,00 passengers will be free from July 1st. This is likely to make around 30 of Norway’s 130 connections completely free of charge. 

The free trips will apply to local residents, tourists and other travellers. 

READ MORE: Why some ferry routes in Norway will be completely free this summer

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The government will offer five million kroner in funding to help improve the Consumer Council’s electricity price comparison site strømpris.no.

The funding will make the comparison site better so that both spot price and fixed price customers can get the best energy deal available and save money. 

The government expects high electricity prices to continue

The government has written in its revised national budget that it expects high energy prices to continue. 

Tax revenues from the power companies will be used to cover the expenses of the electricity subsidy scheme, which sees the government pick up 80 percent of energy bills when the spot prices rise above a certain amount. 

Experts: Loan and mortgage repayments to increase faster

Loan and mortgage repayments could go up more quickly than anticipated due to increased oil spending, business and financial site E24 reports. 

In the revised budget, the government has said that it plans on spending 30 billion more of revenue from the oil fund than previously expected. 

“I think this is a somewhat more expansive use of money than Norges Bank (Norway’s central bank) had envisioned, and in that sense, I think that in isolation, it could contribute to a higher interest rate path, not strongly, but somewhat higher,” Kjersti Haugland, chief economist at DNB, told E24. 

If Norges Bank raises the key policy rate, lenders will follow suit meaning the loan or mortgage becomes more expensive to repay. 

Counties will be split up to improve local services

Viken will be divided into Akerhus, Buskerud and Østfold. Vestfold og Telemark will be split into two, as will Troms og Finnamrk. 

If parliament can make a final decision before the summer, the division will take place from January 1st 2024. 

The government wants to split the counties to improve the availability of local services in these areas, according to a press release from the Ministry of Local Government

Air passenger tax scrapped for the rest of the year

The air passenger tax, which was shelved for the last few years, will also be frozen until the end of the year. 

Cut in support for public transport

The government will be cutting its support scheme for public transport firms hit by a loss of income related to the pandemic from July 1st. 

For consumers, this means that some firms will cut the routes they offer due to the funding ending. 

Ruter has said that it is already cutting the number of routes from July 4th as passenger numbers are not back to pre-pandemic levels.Routes could also be cut in Oslo and Viken

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