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WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

What changes in Norway in September 2022?

The prospect of more support to deal with sky-high energy prices, interest rates going up, and a key change to electric scooters are among the changes in Norway you need to know in September. 

Pictured is a cairn in Norway.
Here are the key changes happening in Norway in September. Pictured is a cairn in Norway. Photo by Simon Wiedensohler on Unsplash

New energy support for businesses and consumers is expected in September

On September 19th, Norway’s parliament will meet to discuss sky-high energy prices. Parliament is being reconvened early for the talks. 

Head of the NHO, Ole Erik Almlid, said that the government had drawn up rough plans for several potential measures to tackle high prices and ease pressure on businesses and households. 

“What I can say is that there are several solutions on the table, and it is also possible to see combinations of the various solutions,” he told reporters after NHO met with LO and Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre earlier in August. 

The government have been under pressure to improve the current scheme offered to households in light of record prices. However, the PM and Finance Minister have ruled out the possibility of a maximum energy price. 

Currently, the government covers 80 percent of energy bills when the price is above 70 kWh. However, there isn’t a similar scheme for business. 

The portion of energy bills the government covers is to increase

From September, the government will cover up to 90 percent of energy bills when the price rises above 70 kWh. 

Norway’s government will increase the portion of the bill it covers ahead of the previous schedule. However, it isn’t clear how this increase could be affected by changes or any additional support the government could offer households when parliament urgently reconvenes in September. 

Interest rates to increase again

It’s more bad news for consumers’ wallets in Norway in September. Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, has signalled that it will be hiking the key interest rate in September. 

Norges Bank’s next rate hike will come after a double rate increase in August and an earlier one in June. 

A key rate hike will inevitably lead to mortgage interest increases. 

If you were to have a mortgage or loan of 4 million kroner at an interest rate of 2.5 percent over 25 years and your bank has issued a notice that it will raise interest rates by 0.5 percentage points, then your monthly repayments will increase by 996 kroner. 

READ ALSO: What Norway’s latest double interest rate hike means for your finances

New driving licence design issued

Everyone who orders a new driving licence in Norway from September 1st will receive a new design, and laminated paper licences will be scrapped. 

The new design is said to provide increased security against forgery and is easier to check, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has said. 

Laminated paper licences will need to be replaced by January 1st 2023.

Oslo-Aberdeen route launches

Airline Loganair will launch a flight which connects the Norwegian capital of Oslo with the Scottish city of Aberdeen in September. 

Scottish airline Loganair will begin flying passengers between Oslo and Aberdeen six times a week from September 5th.

Tickets for flights are already on sale, and the airline will typically fly direct from Oslo to Aberdeen every day apart from Saturday. 

Flights take around one hour and 40 minutes, and prices begin from 1,055 kroner for a single, which includes 15kg of luggage and refreshments as standard. Fares also included the airline’s GreenSkies levy, which fully offsets the carbon emissions from every flight through an accredited environmental programme.

It may become more expensive to rent electric scooters

From September 1st, rental companies will need compulsory statutory liability coverage on their e-scooter networks.

The requirement is being brought in as part of a set of legislation aimed at regulating the use of e-scooters in Norway more thoroughly.

Norwegian newspaper VG reports that this new insurance requirement will likely make renting e-scooters more expensive.

Rental operators have said that the lack of competition in the market means that securing a competitive insurance policy would be incredibly difficult.

Ryde, a rental firm operating in Norway, told VG that it had yet to seal a deal, but when it does, the cost of renting an e-scooter would likely increase.

Tier told VG that prices would increase over the next 12 months once it signed the dotted line on an insurance agreement.

READ MORE: Why the price of e-scooter rentals in Norway will increase

Oslo Pride to go ahead

The Pride parade in Oslo was previously put on hold indefinitely following shootings near a gay pub and other locations the day before when the original parade was meant to be held in June. 

However, Oslo’s pride celebration has now been given the green light to go ahead. As a result, on Saturday, September 10th, there will be a Pride parade through Norway’s capital city. 

Following the parade, a solidarity demonstration will be held at Kontraskjæret at Akershus fortress.

Wine monopoly to raise prices

The price of many goods at Norway’s wine monopoly will increase, Norwegian newswire NTB reports. 

Wholesalers who sell goods to the state-owned wine monopoly, which regulates the sale of any alcohol above 4.75 percent in Norway, will adjust their prices on September 1st. 

“It is the wholesalers who set the prices. Some prices go up, while others go down. There will be a new selling price for 7,924 out of a total of 29,018 products, so the majority of the products will keep the same price,” Hege-Lill Hagen Asp, senior adviser at the wine monopoly, told NTB. 

The cost of 350-millilitre bottles of Baileys and Aperol would rise. At the same time, some wines are seeing significant price increases. 

However, prices at the wine monopoly overall will increase by 0.75 percent since the last adjustment in May. The rise is well below inflation in Norway which is 6.8 percent. 

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

New citizenship rules: Everything that changes in Norway in October 2022

Changes to the language rules for Norwegian citizenship and the government presenting its budget for 2022 are among the key changes in Norway in October. 

New citizenship rules: Everything that changes in Norway in October 2022

New language rules for citizenship

The language requirements for Norwegian citizenship will become stricter from October 1st. The required level will be raised from A2 to B1, in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

New language requirements apply to applications submitted after October 1st. An application is considered fully submitted after the documents as part of the application are handed to the police, 

Additionally, applicants will no longer be required to document Norwegian language training. Under current rules, applicants must demonstrate that they have attended Norwegian lessons or have an “adequate understanding of Norwegian”- i.e. passing language exam at A2, B1 and B2 levels. 

READ MORE: Norway’s new language requirements for citizenship

Government to present state budget

On October 6th, the Norwegian government will unveil the state budget for 2023. The budget comes when the cost of living is increasing, and consumers are being squeezed by inflation, energy prices and rising interest rates. 

However, early indications from the government suggest that households in Norway may have to settle for a more lean budget this year. 

“There are new expenses that we must take in responsibly by creating a good state budget for the country and people, and we are well on our way to doing that. This is going to be a tight and fair budget,” Norway’s PM Jonas Gahr Støre said in August

“We cannot do as has been done in previous years, to just use more oil money to solve challenges. On the contrary, we have to spend less, and at the same time we have big expenses to pay and big tasks to do,” he added. 

Transport cuts could be announced

One announcement to be expected in the budget would be a significant cut to major transport projects in Norway if comments made by the Transport Minister, Jon-Ivar Nygård, are anything to go by. 

“I think there will probably be disappointment,” Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.

He added that due to the current economic situation that the government would be unable to deliver on projects outlined by previous governments. 

However, he added that the government would instead put projects on hold than scrap them altogether. 

Høstferie

Norway’s fall holidays will take place during the beginning of October. The week beginning October 3rd will see kids in Agder, Oslo, Viken, Troms og Finnmark head out on holiday before pupils in Innlandet, Møre of Romsdal, Rogaland, Trøndelag, Vestfold og Telemark, Vestland and Nordland enjoy fall break from the week beginning October 14th. 

Historically, the free week was based around when potato crops were ready for harvest. Now, it is a time when many Norwegians escape to their cabins for a week to explore nature and unwind. 

Time for foraging

This is the season when many (perhaps even most) Norwegians bunk off from work early to roam their local forests, bringing back giant hauls of hedgehog mushrooms (pigsopp), tasty chanterelles (kantareller), trumpet chanterelles (traktkantareller) and ceps (Steinsopp).

If you’re in the right part of Norway and find a good spot, you can bring back kilos and kilos, which, if dried or frozen, can keep you going right through to the next season. 

READ MORE: How to pick mushrooms in Norway like you’ve been doing it all your life

Winter tyre season in the north 

In the northernmost parts of the country, the winter tyre season begins earlier due to the snow arriving and settling quicker than it does in the south. As a result, the season in the north begins on October 16th before commencing on November 1st in the rest of the country. 

Increased energy support visible on electricity bills

In September, the proportion of energy bills the government covered increased to 90 percent. Some 90 percent of household energy bills will be subsidised when the spot price exceeds 70 øre per kWh. 

The bill you receive in October will be the first one where 90 percent of the bill has been covered. 

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