Local and national politicians have joined increasing calls for the Norwegian government to take additional action to address high energy prices.
Støre met on Tuesday with Labour mayors to discuss high energy prices. Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland also attended the talks, which came after the Labour mayors in Kristiansand and Stavanger criticised the PM and demanded new measures to deal with rising electricity prices.
“I think we have to accept that this won’t be over anytime soon,” Støre said earlier this week.
“It could take one or two or three years,” he said.
The presidency of Norway’s Storting parliament will meet at the beginning of next week to decide whether lawmakers should be urgently recalled over the issue.
The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), the PM’s biggest ally outside of the government, has also said that high prices need to be addressed.
The government has had a subsidy scheme in place since last year that covers 90 percent of the portion of the energy bill where the electricity price was above 70 øre per kWh. The subsidy scheme has been raised from 55 percent and 80 percent of the bill following pressure.
The PM has ruled out introducing a maximum price, however, a measure which the Conservative Party has also warned against.
However, the Oil and Energy ministry confirmed to newspaper VG on Wednesday that the government is working on new measures in response to the energy price crisis.
The objective of the government’s work is to be able to present the main features of the new measures by next week, sources told VG.
The newspaper writes that measures relating to energy production at reservoirs and restriction of exports are being considered while financial support for struggling businesses are also being considered as a way to relieve the pressure of high prices.
Electricity prices have continually hit record levels in the southern part of Norway. The Nordic country is part of the common European energy market and has increased cable capacity for exports, with high quantities of energy exported from Norway to Europe in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent breakdown of Russian gas exports to Europe.
Water reservoirs in southwestern Norway are already low following a low rainfall summer in 2021, with that part of the country particularly suffering in the current climate of high prices.