Sweden’s electricity price subsidy now postponed until February

Households and businesses will not receive any compensation for high power prices over the last year until February at the earliest, Swedish government ministers confirmed at a press conference on Wednesday.

Sweden's electricity price subsidy now postponed until February
Sweden's business and energy minister Ebba Busch delivered the bad news at a press conference on Wednesday. Photo: Screen shot/Swedish government

During the election campaign, the Moderate, Christian Democrat, and Liberal parties made a common election promise to have a system of compensation “in place” by November 1st. 

“If we win the election and Sweden receives a new government, we are are going to make sure that high-cost protection against the current extreme electricity prices for households and businesses will be in place by November 1st,” they wrote. “Household finances will be rescued in good time for Christmas. That is a common election promise.” 

But at a press conference on Wednesday morning, social insurance minister Anna Tenje said that payments would not begin until well into 2023. 

“The payments will begin in February if nothing unexpected happens,” she said. 

For businesses, the wait could be even longer. 

“The first step will be payments to households. The second stage will be payments to businesses, and that question is still being decided,” energy and business minister Ebba Busch said. 

At a press conference, Magdalena Andersson, leader of the opposition Social Democrats accused Sweden’s prime minister of “lying to the Swedish people right in the face”. 

“When it comes to high cost protection for electricity, he was very clear ahead of the election that it would be in place on November 1st,” she said. “He couldn’t explain how, but it was a clear promise to the people of Sweden and that has now been broken. It’s not as if anything has happened to explain why he couldn’t live up to the promise.” 

“Don’t make lofty promises that aren’t trustworthy. That’s what I said during the election campaign.” she added.

The Social Democrats’ energy spokesperson, Fredrik Olovsson, said that the government should give a new instruction to the country’s grid operator Svenska Kraftnät, so that even people in northern Sweden could receive the subsidy. 

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Second energy price subsidy approved for users across Sweden

Sweden's second energy price subsidy, which will be offered to all users in Sweden for energy costs incurred in November and December 2022, has been approved by the Energy Market Inspectorate.

Second energy price subsidy approved for users across Sweden

In the approved application, submitted by Svenska kraftnät on January 30th on behalf of the government, Svenska kraftnät are permitted to use a maximum of 10 billion kronor in so-called bottleneck income to finance energy price support for individuals.

In contrast to the first energy price subsidy, this subsidy will also be available for users in northern Sweden.

How do I know which energy zone I am in?

Energy zone 1 – the cheapest energy zone – is in the far north of Sweden, and it includes Norrbotten county and part of Västerbotten county.

Energy zone 2 is slightly further south, and it includes Jämtland county, Västernorrland county, and parts of Gävleborg and Västerbotten counties.

Energy zone 3 covers central Sweden, encompassing Stockholm and Gothenburg, as well as Stockholm county, Södermanland county, Uppsala county, Värmland county, Västmanland county, Örebro county, Östergötland county, Dalarna county, and parts of Halland, Kalmar, Jönköping, Västra Götaland, and Gävleborg counties.

Energy zone 4 – the most expensive zone – includes Malmö, Skåne, Blekinge, Kronoberg, and parts of Kalmar, Halland, Jönköping and Västra Götaland counties.

How much will it cover?

The energy price support will cover 80 percent of the recorded energy usage for a property in November and December 2022, and will be paid out to the individual named on the energy contract on December 31st, 2022.

It is not yet clear when the second energy price subsidy will be paid out to recipients.

The approved model will offer 90 öre per kWh to users in energy zones one and two – northern Sweden, 126 öre per kWh for users in energy zone three – central Sweden, and 129 öre per kWh for users in energy zone four, located in southern Sweden.