Norwegians reeling from the highest monthly electricity bills ever will continue to get financial assistance from the state government, some of it even sweetened. The Labour, Center and Socialist Left (SV) parties agreed on Tuesday to extend support until at least March 2023.
“The government is also working on a plan to gain control over electricity exports, won’t be building any new export cables and will invest heavily in developing alternative energy,” Sigbjørn Gjelsvik, finance policy spokesman for the Center Party, wrote in a press release Tuesday afternoon. “That’s how we’ll ensure that both households and businesses have access to reasonably priced energy over time.”
Compensation to households will rise this autumn, and cover 90 percent of electricity priced at more than NOK 0.70 per kilowatt hour in October, November and December. The state will also continue to subsidize electricity costs for farmers and volunteer organizations through the rest of the year.
The Labour and Center parties’ minority coalition government relies on support from SV to gain a majority in Parliament. They got it on Tuesday, with SV claiming that the new package agreed upon is “more fair and better targeted” to those needing the most assistance. Monthly electricity bills have tripled and even quadrupled this winter, just as food prices are rising quickly and fuel prices are soaring.
The Reds Party was not entirely satisfied with the energy package, arguing instead in favour of setting a “maximum price” on electricity, not least since the state itself has benefited greatly from record high rates over the past six months.