Who will benefit from Sweden’s compensation for high electricity bills?

Who will benefit from Sweden's compensation for high electricity bills?
The Swedish government has pledged to offer a cash boost to households affected by high electricity bills. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
It is not yet clear exactly how much compensation every household in Sweden will get for their record-high energy bills this winter, but here’s what we know so far.

The Swedish government on Wednesday announced plans to offer a cash boost for electricity bills in December, January and February.

Due to historically high energy prices in Sweden (and Europe) some households saw their December bill more than double compared to last year, in some cases adding up to increased costs of thousands of kronor. Prices have so far been going down in January, however,

First of all, please note that the proposal is still at its very early stages, and Energy Minister Khashayar Farmanbar warned that the government will need to talk to electricity companies, authorities and parliament before the exact details can be confirmed. So be aware that it is still possible that some of the things below may change before the proposal comes into effect.

Who is eligible for the compensation?

The compensation will be based on consumption rather than income, with the maximum offered to those using more than 2,000 kWh per month. The maximum amount of cash back will be 2,000 kronor per month ($223), so it will be capped at a total of 6,000 kronor.

Households that consume less electricity than 2,000 kWh per month will also be able to get money back, but not as much. The exact amount will be based on a sliding scale, but it is not clear exactly how it will work.

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The fact that it will be based on consumption also means that it will likely not take into account the actual cost of your electricity bill. Electricity prices are generally higher in southern Sweden than in northern Sweden, but they will both get the same level of compensation.

The compensation will be handed out regardless of whether you have a fixed-rate or variable-rate contract with your electricity supplier. The latter usually works out cheaper in the long term, but is more affected by fluctuations – which means that people with a variable-rate contract will have been hit much harder by the record-high prices this winter, unless they had already prepared by saving up money in better times.

The compensation can be paid out to apartments or houses, but in practice it is more likely that houseowners, who usually consume more electricity, will be covered by the proposal. Many people in apartments pay their electricity bills only through their housing association fee.

According to the government’s estimate, around 1.8 million households across Sweden will be eligible for the compensation, but it is not entirely clear exactly who will be able to get it. “Not everyone will get compensation. Generally those with detached homes or small homes which are heated by electricity will be covered by this proposal,” said Finance Minister Mikael Damberg when he unveiled the plans.

How do you claim cash back on your energy bill?

You will not claim it back yourself. Compensation will be paid out automatically to eligible households in Sweden – it’s not yet clear how.

It will also take several months to be introduced, so it won’t help you pay your December bill right now, and you won’t get a lower bill in January or February.

Member comments

    1. Moving tax rates has much bigger implications than a one time rebate.

      I’d much rather have seen an announcement that the closed reactors at Ringahls are reopening along with plans for a new NorthSouth interconnector. Long term security instead of feel good sticky plasters.

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