The consumer organization Huseierne has asked for increased support and is happy that the government has listened, but at the same time reminds to look ahead to avoid a similar electricity crisis again.
Now, many households will soon have to pay large electricity bills for the month of December. From January, the compensation from the state can increase. On Saturday, the government announced that they will take a larger share of people’s electricity bills. The proposal to increase support for electricity prices above 70 øre per kilowatt hour from 55 to 80 per cent will be presented to the Storting next week.
The proposed increase is well received by the consumer organization Huseierne.
– We went through the electricity subsidy a little while back, and found that the electricity package that was adopted before Christmas only covers between 15 to 30 percent of the sky-high electricity bills. Many consumers also believe that they receive more in support than they actually receive, because the support does not take into account variations in electricity prices and consumption throughout the day, says energy policy adviser Linda Ørstavik Öberg in Huseierne to E24.
– Many have got the impression that the power subsidy will lead to about a halving of the bill, and have been shocked and disappointed at how little they got back, she says.
– Very satisfied
Öberg has previously been clear that the first electricity package would not be enough for electricity customers who are struggling a lot.
That is precisely why the Homeowners sent on Monday this week over a demand to the Minister of Petroleum and Energy to improve the package for electricity support. We are pleased that a support scheme was put in place so quickly, and that we are now being heard and that the support is increased to 80 percent, we are very pleased with, says Öberg.
– The improvement will make the electricity bill in the coming months easier to handle for the country’s homeowners. But it is important to remember that this is a temporary crisis scheme, so in the long run we must see what we can do to avoid getting the same power crisis next winter, she says.
This is how the new power support affects your bill
Öberg also points out that electricity customers who do not have so-called through invoicing, that both grid rent and electricity come on the same invoice, must wait 20 days after the invoice date for a possible payment from the grid supplier.
– As I said, we are very satisfied, but we hope that you can also find a scheme to get the support paid out a little faster for the electricity customers in question. When you have a large electricity bill due, 20 days is a very long wait, says Öberg.
Praises the government
General manager Knut Lockert in the organization Distriktsenergi thinks the government’s electricity support scheme is good, but leaves it to the politicians to think something about the level of support. What is important for District Energy is that the scheme does not interfere with pricing in the market.
– We think the scheme they have presented is quite good. What we are concerned about is that you do not mess with the pricing in the market and destroy a system that works. The government has managed to find a system that the industry can deliver on, says Lockert.
That they choose to increase support is a political issue, first and foremost. That they go in a little extra is a good thing for the electricity customers, he says, and adds that he thinks it is good that the government compensates the electricity customers in “the special situation we are in”.
– We have not seen this before. They use the political tools they have, he says.
Supported by several
SV will ensure that the government’s proposal is adopted in the Storting, says SV leader Audun Lysbakken in a comment on e-mail.
SV proposed to increase the electricity subsidy further already in the negotiations before Christmas. The government should have listened to us then, but it is good that they are doing it now. 80 percent is a solid increase, says Lysbakken.
– Better compensation can only be the first step. Now we want to challenge the government to take control of the power market, so that sky-high prices do not hit people in Norway again. We want negotiations on the Energy Act and how electricity is controlled. Market forces should not be allowed to ravage people for more winters, he says.
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Electricity price easily explained
The Conservatives are also positive about the proposal.
– The Conservatives have worked with a new electricity package that was more redistributive and with stronger measures, because the government’s were far too bad. They have been behind, but it is good that they finally see this for themselves and come up with suggestions for more help. The most important thing for the Conservative Party is that people get quick and good help in a completely extraordinary situation, says fiscal policy spokesperson and other deputy leader Tina Bru in the Conservative Party in a comment.
Rødt believes that the increase in support that is now being proposed is still not enough.
– Red proposed to increase it to 90 percent already in December. In addition, the threshold of 70 øre kWt is still abnormally high. The average electricity price in recent decades is in excess of 30 øre, writes parliamentary representative Sofie Marhaug in Rødt in an e-mail.
– Last year alone, the state earned almost 30 billion in increased revenues in the form of increased dividends and ground rent tax as a result of sky-high prices. Then all that was needed was for the money to be repaid, she writes.