Norway parliament agrees increased electricity subsidy scheme

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OSLO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Norway's government said on Friday it had secured a majority in parliament for a revised plan to subsidise household electricity bills amid a spike in power prices.

The centre-left minority government agreed to amend its plan, first presented on Dec. 11, to win the support of the Socialist Left party and thus secure enough votes. read more

A spike in the cost of electricity to the highest level in more than a decade, part of a Europe-wide surge, had put pressure on the centre-left minority government to find ways to cushion the blow.

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The cost of the plan will rise by some 1.1 billion Norwegian crowns ($122.3 million) combined for the four months from December 2021 to March 2022, in addition to the 5 billion proposed initially.

Following the negotiations, the government will pay 55% of the portion of power bills above prices of 0.70 crowns per kilowatt hour (KWh), while the original plan had targeted a 50% reduction of the same cost.

The overall cap on consumption covered by the scheme remained at 5,000 KWh per month.

Additional money will also be allocated to households that need it the most.

The government has previously presented other measures to alleviate the high-price situation amounting to between 4 billion and 5 billion crowns.

Separately on Friday the government also proposed a subsidy scheme for greenhouse operators, but did not say how much this could cost.

So far this month, wholesale spot prices in southern Norway have averaged 1.53 crowns/kWh, according to data from electricity bourse Nord Pool.

($1 = 8.9940 Norwegian crowns)

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Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik

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