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ENERGY

UPDATED: What do we know about Sweden’s energy subsidy?

Sweden's government is offering two energy subsidies this spring, one which will only be for users in southern Sweden, and one which will be offered to all Swedish residents. So, how will they work?

UPDATED: What do we know about Sweden's energy subsidy?
A bakery in Kalmar would receive 52,140 kronor in subsidies under the new scheme. The bakery, in this picture, is in Stockholm. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Who is eligible?

There are two separate energy subsidies in the works, let’s call them energy subsidy 1 and energy subsidy 2.

Energy subsidy 1 (the subsidy announced in November 2022) will be available for energy users in energy zones 3 and 4 (most of southern Sweden), who had their own energy contract on November 17th, 2022. This means both houses and apartments, as well as companies and organisations (although it’s unclear when the latter two groups will receive their payout). This will be paid out on February 20th.

If you live in a cooperative housing association (a BRF) where your electricity bill is included in your monthly fee, the payment will go to the association instead, as the electricity contract is between the BRF and the energy company.

Energy subsidy 2 (announced in January 2023) will be available to energy users in all zones with their own energy contract.

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 is it calculated?

It’s not yet clear exactly how the second energy subsidy will be calculated, as a system for paying out the subsidy needs to be put forward by relevant authorities and approved before it can be implemented, but the first energy subsidy will be calculated in the following way:

Firstly, which zone is the user or property based in? Each zone will offer a different payout per kWh.

Secondly, how high was the user’s energy usage between October 2021 and September 2022?

For those in energy zone 3, the subsidy will cover 50 öre per kWh used in that 12 month period. For those in energy zone 4, the subsidy will cover 79 öre per kWh over the same period.

This could mean energy users on a fixed tariff who paid lower than this per kWh in the qualifying period receive more money back than they originally paid.

Again, details for the second energy subsidy have not yet been confirmed, but it’s safe to say that the chance there will be different payout rates per kWh for different zones is high.

The second energy subsidy will cover usage between November and December 2022, as prices were particularly high during these two months.

How much will I get?

It’s difficult to say as it depends so much on individual usage, but here are some examples from a Svenska kraftnät press release explaining the first energy subsidy:

  • A tennis club in Halland with an energy usage of 45,000 kWh over the qualifying period will receive a 35,500 kronor subsidy (45,000 x 0.79 = 35,550).
  • A house owner in Örebro with an energy usage of 19,500 kWh over the qualifying period will receive a 9,750 kronor subsidy (19,500 x 0.50 = 9,750).
  • A bakery in Kalmar with an energy usage of 66,000 kWh over the qualifying period will receive a 52,140 kronor subsidy (66,000 x 0.79 = 52,140).

Regarding the second energy subsidy, again, details of the subsidy payout are not yet clear.

Having said that, an estimate by energy traders Godel on behalf of TT newswire, based on an average yearly usage of 20,000 kWh, with more energy used in the colder months, predicts the following:

Users in energy zones 1 and 2 can expect a total of around 3,800 kronor for November and December, with users in zones 3 receiving around 5,350 kronor and users in zone 4 receiving around 5,480 kronor for the same period.

Obviously, these figures aren’t final, and if you use less than 20,000 kWh per year (if you live in an apartment, for example), or your usage was lower than average in November and December, you’ll receive a smaller payout.

In addition to this, Energy and Business Minister Ebba Busch said on January 9th, 2023, when she announced the second price subsidy, that there could be an upper usage limit on the second energy subsidy, meaning that users could only receive support for usage up to a certain amount.

When will it come into effect?

The first energy price subsidy is due to be paid out in February 2023, the government has stated, although the date of payout for businesses and organisations is still unclear.

The second energy price subsidy will be paid out “at some point this spring”, Busch said.

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TERRORISM

Sweden to make it illegal to be active in a terrorist organisation

Sweden's government has submitted a new terror bill which could help convince Turkey that the country is acting to crack down on Swedish residents active in the Kurdish PKK terror group.

Sweden to make it illegal to be active in a terrorist organisation

The new proposal, titled “a special penalty provision for participation in a terrorist organisation”, will make participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation in any way that “promotes, strengthens or supports” the organisation punishable with up to four years in prison. 

“This is a wider criminalisation that takes aim at a slew of activities within a terrorist organisation that don’t need to be concretely connected to a specific terrorist crime,” Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer told a press conference.

“Sweden has an increased terrorist threat which must be taken very seriously,” he continued. “Now the government is putting forward a legislative proposal which means that both participation in and financing of participation in terrorist organisations will be punishable.” 

Actions such as handling equipment, organising camps or locations for meetings, cooking or being in charge of transport for designated terrorist organisations would be criminalised under the new law, which Strömmer stressed was a “considerable widening of the scope compared to current legislation”.

In November, the country amended its constitution to allow the proposed bill to move forward, as it was deemed to infringe on Sweden’s freedom of association laws.

The proposal will now go to Sweden’s Council on Legislation, which judged a previous proposal to ban membership of a terror organisation, brought in in the wake the 2017 Stockholm terror attack, as in conflict with Sweden’s constitution right to free association. 

Under the proposal, serious cases of the new crime will be punishable by up to eight years in prison, while those found guilty of holding a leadership position in a terror organisation could be jailed for 18 years or even for life. 

The proposal criminalises all forms of support for terror organisations, regardless of whether it is financial or other ways of taking part in it, promoting it and strengthening it. 

Strömmer noted that “partaking in a demonstration or at a meeting will not in itself be punishable”, adding that said flag-waving in itself would not be criminalised but such activities could potentially be used as evidence in court.

The government hopes to be able to submit the proposal to parliament on March 7th, and for it to come into force by June 1st. 

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