AULI (VG) While others can enjoy electricity support on the bill from December, the solution is not ready for housing associations and co-ownership.
It is cold in the stairwell in Auli Park. The heat is turned off completely, to save as much power as possible.
– We have taken measures, says Anders Dåbakk.
He is chairman of the board of the condominium of 43 apartments located in Nes municipality in Viken, and says that they have done several things to remedy the high electricity prices.
1 of 2Photo: Hallgeir Vågenes / VG
Common expenses have increased twice. First once in October at 6 percent, and then again in January at 10 percent.
– You quickly become unpopular, he chuckles.
Despite measures, the condominium received an electricity bill of almost 100,000 kroner for December.
In 2020, the electricity bill for the condominium was approximately 139,000 kroner, for the whole year. NOK 39,000 more than the bill for December 2021.
Winter and autumn have been characterized by sky-high electricity prices. The government has come up with various support schemes: Before Christmas, they launched an electricity subsidy of 55 percent, and on Saturday they announced that they will increase the subsidy from 55 to 80 percent until March.
There is only one problem. The scheme is still not ready for housing associations and co-ownership.
The government has said that both housing associations and condominiums will receive electricity support, but that the solution for how it should be solved would not be ready for the electricity bill in December.
This has been criticized by several quarters. Both the Red Party and the Conservative Party have criticized the government for being too slow in putting in place a solution.
Taken too long
The fact that the solution is still not ready goes far beyond the condominium where Dåbakk is chairman of the board.
– They say they are working on it. But everything takes so long with them. So it’s just nonsense, says Anders Dåbakk.
Several housing associations and condominiums have hot water and heating included in the common expenses of those who live in the apartments. Then it is the housing association and the condominium that pays for everything from hot water and heating.
This is also the case in Auli Park housing association. Then the bill will be considerably higher.
The government’s electricity subsidy scheme states that households receive support for up to 5,000 kilowatt hours of their monthly consumption. But co-ownership with common meters has far higher consumption than a single household.
In a room down in the garage in the condominium is the heat pump that supplies the entire building. On the wall outside hangs the electricity meter, which is also common to the entire building.
– I think we can say that we have not spent anything extra on electricity, says Dåbakk and adds:
– What we miss is an update on the road. They do not want to say anything. They are completely hiding, he thinks.
He says that the condominium on the last bill received a total electricity subsidy of 3682 kroner out of the total sum of 98,844 kroner. This corresponds to NOK 89 per housing unit.
– We get support as one household. Of that, 43 apartments receive NOK 3,682 in distribution.
Support scheme for housing associations and co-ownership is not ready
The reason why the support order from the government has not yet been prepared for housing associations and co-ownership is that they are registered as business customers. The support scheme for the government is aimed at households.
If the scheme is not in place by next month, it will drastically affect co-ownership, Dåbakk says.
– The accounts will not stand, he states.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy works with the scheme for housing associations and co-ownership. In an e-mail, State Secretary Amund Vik writes
– The law has made arrangements to include jointly measured household consumption in the scheme as soon as possible. This can only happen when good practical solutions have been found on how jointly measured household consumption can be separated from business activities, writes State Secretary Amund Vik in an e-mail to VG.
He further writes that they are working to find solutions so that condominiums and housing associations that have a common electricity meter will also be compensated like other households.
When the scheme is ready, the ministry will present a separate regulation for how jointly measured household use is to be included in the electricity support scheme.
– It is on its way, and we will of course deliver on the Storting’s decision and order, said Minister of Petroleum and Energy Marte Mjøs Persen to NTB on Thursday.
Dåbakk is not happy that the solution is not in place yet.
He has not received any information on when the scheme will come, or whether they will be reimbursed for the bill in December.
– We hope so, he states.