Residents in Norway's largest cities see water bills surge

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Residents in Norway's largest cities see water bills surge
Many residents in the major cities of Norway will be unpleasantly surprised by the increase in costs for their water and sewage fees this year. Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Many Norwegian municipalities are sharply increasing the fees charged for water and sewage in 2023. Some households are being expected to pay between 30 and 40 percent more than before.


Homeowners in Norway's largest municipalities are in for an unpleasant surprise when it comes to their sewage and water bills this year.

"Many people will experience a real 'fee shock'," Morten Andreas Meyer, the head of the Huseierne homeowners' association, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Meyer believes that local politicians have postponed the necessary maintenance of water pipes and investments in sewage treatment plants for far too long.


"That's why these huge bills will affect households now," he explained.

The Huseierne organisation has collected figures from 14 of the largest municipalities in Norway to review the fee increases.

Most of the 14 have increased their fees much more than the overall price increase in the economy in the past year.

Increases of over 40 percent

According to Huseierne, based on an example of a typical detached house of 120 m2, the water and sewerage fees in Sarpsborg increased from 10,190 kroner in 2022 to 14,675 kroner in 2023 (a 44 percent increase).

In Skien, the fee grew from 8,237 kroner to 11,072 kroner over a 12-month period (a 34 percent increase, while residents of Porsgrunn had to account for a hike of 3,128 kroner (from 9,500 kroner in 2022 to 12,628 kroner in 2023 – a 33 percent spike).

Fredrikstad and Bodø will see fees rise by 31 percent and 30 percent, respectively, while residents of Trondheim will have to set aside an additional 1,462 kroner (an increase from 7,101 kroner in 2022 to 8,563 kroner in 2023).

In Bærum, expect to see water and sewage bills rise by 20 percent, from 7,354 kroner last year to 8,825 kroner in 2023.

The water and sewage charge  is also rising in Drammen (19 percent), Tromsø (18 percent), Kristiansand, and (18 percent).

In the country's capital, Oslo, the fee is increasing from 7,070 kroner to 8,272 kroner – a 17 percent increase. Furthermore, a similar increase is expected in Stavanger (16 percent), Sandnes (16 percent), and Bergen (9 percent).


Strong increase in fees over the years

According to data obtained by the Huseierne organisation, the water fee increased by 46 percent, and the sewage fee increased by 44 percent from 2010 to 2021.

In the same years, prices in Norway have risen by 26 percent.

"Fees will increase in the coming years. That is why it is so important that the municipalities now organise this more effectively so that they do not increase more than is necessary," Meyer concluded.


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