Norwegians stunned by their recent electricity bills got a bit of comfort from the government last week. It announced it will continue to offset some of the extraordinary increases in electricity rates through direct subsidies for at least another year.
Monthly electricity bills have tripled or more this winter, because of a variety of factors like the lack of rain and snow to generate more hydroelectric power, record-high gas prices and the war in Ukraine.
Subsidies that began being offered in January were set to expire by April. With rates still climbing and the war causing both uncertainty and some windfall revenues from Norway’s oil and gas industry, the government decided to continue the subsidies through March of next year.
The government also sweetened its offer last month and will now continue to cover 80 percent of the cost of utility rates higher than NOK 0.70 per kilowatt hour, up to a limit of 5,000 kilowatt hours a month.