Norwegian government set to earn 73 billion kroner from high energy prices

Norway's government could end up earning more from high electricity prices than it expects to pay out in subsidised energy bills this year, figures released Thursday show.

Pictured are powerlines.
The Norwegian state is expected to earn up to 73 billion kroner in extra revenue this year. Pictured are powerlines. Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

The Norwegian state could be set to earn an extra 73 billion kroner from energy this year, according to new figures from interest group and employer organisation Energi Norge.

This year, the Norwegian state will spend up to 41 billion kroner providing subsidies to households to help them cover rising electricity prices.

When prices rise above 70 øre kWh, the government covers up to 90 percent of the bill. Last week, the government unveiled a raft of measures to help businesses cope with rising energy bills.

Figures from the estimated windfall show that the 73 billion kroner comes from 56 billion kroner in tax, three billion in VAT and 14 billion kroner in dividends from state-owned firms.

Despite income from high energy bills totalling considerably more than the government will pay to help consumers cope with bills, Energi Norge said the windfall was a good thing for the country.

“70 billion shows that here we cover the electricity support scheme for households and the business scheme. In addition, we provide the opportunity for the community to finance other welfare benefits. So this is good news for Norway,” Energi Norge’s managing director Knut Kroepelien told public broadcaster NRK.

Earlier this week, Norway’s parliamentary holiday was halted for the parties to debate energy policy. During the debate, over 90 proposals were tabled by opposition parties. Among the proposals were calls for increased support, with the government covering the bill when prices pass 50 øre kWh and a maximum price.

READ MORE: What is the worst-case scenario for electricity prices in Norway this winter?

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Norway to lower temperature at train stations by 4C

Bane Nor - the government agency that manages Norway's railway network – announced on Tuesday that it would lower the temperature at the country's train stations in an effort to reduce energy consumption.

Norway to lower temperature at train stations by 4C

The temperature at 334 train stations in Norway will be lowered from 21 to 17 degrees. 

The measure should reduce energy consumption by 10 percent and save up to 13 million kroner annually, according to Bane Nor.

However, some exceptions will apply. Stations with areas where people need to work – kiosks, cafes, and shops – will have their workplace temperature set to 19-20 degrees.

“We have to save where we can when it comes to energy and money. The temperature will drop a few degrees in the waiting rooms, but we expect people to be dressed for Norwegian Autumn weather. 

“Compared to the temperature outside, it will still be nice, warm, and dry on our premises,” Knut Øivind Ruud Johansen, director of stations in Bane Nor Eiendom, stated.

The agency has also lowered the temperature in its own office workplaces and workshops.