The government is now working on a model where all electricity customers can receive a significant discount on the next electricity bill.
VG is informed of this.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) promised billion support to alleviate household electricity price shocks.
How the government will arrange this relief, can be presented publicly already on Thursday, according to a centrally located source.
What is being discussed now is to provide the support directly over the electricity bill that households receive from their electricity suppliers, VG is informed.
It is probably also the most accurate and least bureaucratic way to give consumers power support:
Each individual electricity company can then deduct an amount from the next electricity bill, and then get this amount refunded from the Treasury later.
But sources in the government system emphasize that the government has not landed in this case, and that other solutions are also being considered.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre gave some hints in the Storting on Wednesday morning, when he participated in the spontaneous question time:
– This money should be able to be out just over the New Year, we are in the final phase of preparing this scheme, Støre said.
– We will have a broad solution. In an hour or a day or two, that arrangement is in place, he added.
The Prime Minister stated that there will be billions, and that the total sum will be roughly the same as the state’s additional revenues as a result of high electricity prices.
– The scheme should affect everyone who is a electricity customer today, because everyone is affected, he added.
These are the power promises
The government has previously invested in two schemes to shield groups with weak finances from electric shocks:
The government has promised extra payment of housing benefit to the recipients also in December, and has given the municipalities money to be able to pay more in social support to groups that fall outside the housing benefit.
The government will also provide NOK 3,000 in loans to students who can document electricity costs. Of this, NOK 1,200 will be converted into a scholarship.
Suggested cash transfer
The power industry has already launched ideas that are not entirely different from the model that the government will now probably follow:
– WE have recorded for the government a form of cash transfer to electricity customers, in addition to what is now known about housing benefits and social assistance, says Knut Kroepelien, top manager of the NHO association Energi Norge, to VG.
– Then we have pointed out that the support should be weighted based on the extent of consumption, based on the number of members in the household, and where in Norway you live. We are concerned that it should happen quickly, and that it must be administratively simple.
– Can it happen in the form of a discount on the electricity bill, which the state gives via the electricity suppliers?
– We have not discussed further how these transfers can take place. But we are willing to contribute in a fast and good way where we can, says Kroepelien.
He says that an important consideration the government should take is that the bills must still reflect the situation in the market and stimulate energy savings. And that the support must not facilitate overconsumption of electricity.
Conservative deputy leader Tina Bru asked in Question Time in the Storting whether it was fair that only a few hundred million is spent on measures, when the state earns billions from the fact that people’s electricity bills have skyrocketed.
– No, that’s not fair. Now it is an extraordinary situation, which we have not had in 25 years. Therefore, it will be a powerful investment that will be about several billion kroner. We are almost at the end of the line when it comes to entering a compensation when you have high electricity costs. It is a measure that will go directly to people’s electricity bills, says Støre.
In parallel, the government is working on another package:
Wage support to counteract the wave of redundancies that could hit Norway, as a result of the new corona measures from the government, which can, among other things, severely affect nightlife.
LO and all parties in working life have put strong pressure on Støre and the government, to put in place a wage compensation for those who are now affected by the new measures.
Many companies these days are considering how many they have to lay off and a wage compensation scheme could prevent many from laying off.
This is also a top priority issue for the government, but first electricity, then wage support.