Foreign students due energy refunds

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Student housing officials in Oslo are trying to track down more than 8,000 foreign students who lived in student housing complexes in Norway’s capital between 2003 and 2010. The former foreign students collectively may be owed as much as EUR 900,000 in refunds because they were charged too much for electricity while in Oslo.

The refunds stem from incorrect meter readings at the Kringsjå and Fjellbirkeland student housing complexes in Oslo that affected students living there between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. The student tenants are due a refund for energy charges that were overpaid because invoices sent to the complex by power provider Hafslund were too high.

All former students with lease contracts between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008 on housing units that did not have individual electricity meters are also entitled to a refund for rent that was overcharged because of energy invoices that were too high.

Officials at student housing agency Studentsamskipnaden i Oslo og Akershus (SiO), which runs the housing complexes, claim that Hafslund has “taken full responsibility” for the the errors and refunded to SiO the equivalent of EUR 2.6 million. SiO is now trying to pass on the refund money to the students who were overcharged.

“The organization has put in place a refund system and is now searching internationally for their former tenants,” states a press release from SiO. Trond Bakke, SiO’s managing director, said SiO has sent letters and e-mails to all former student residents worldwide, but worries that many may come in return because SiO’s addresses for the students may no longer be valid.

Former students who believe they have a claim can go to www.sio.no/bolig and click on “Electricity refund” for more information and links to the form that must be filled out. SiO noted that students from more than 150 countries may be entitled to a refund.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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