Norway Boosts Aid for Households Facing Surging Power Bills
Norway boosted an aid program to offset soaring electricity costs for a second time in less than a month, citing the “socially unjust” effect of high prices on households.
The state will cover 80% of power costs when the market price for electricity is above 70 Norwegian ore ($0.08) per kilowatt hour in the January to March period, the Labor-led minority government said in a statement on Saturday. The cabinet had initially planned to cover 50% and then raised that share to 55% late last month, pressured by its budget ally, the Socialist Left.
“We took several steps in relation to the high prices in the autumn of 2021, but now see a need to strengthen the important security mechanism,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said. “This is a fair redistribution for the benefit of ordinary people in a demanding time for many.”
As consumers across Europe grapple with record energy costs, the Nordic nation where electricity is widely used for heating announced an aid package totaling more than 8 billion kroner in December, mainly consisting of direct subsidies. The government did not provide an updated estimate of the total cost on Saturday. Household support is capped at 5,000 kilowatt hours a month.
Norwegian households are the most dependent on electricity for heating in Europe, at 64% in 2019, against a European Union average of just 5%, according to Eurostat data.
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