As of April, households in Finland will start seeing credits on their electricity bills. The measure aims to soften the blow of previous bills during the cold months.
The move comes after the EU on Thursday approved an energy subsidy aimed at shielding people from soaring energy costs.
Customers will see reimbursements amounting to 50 percent of bills exceeding 90 euros, but less than 700 euros per month.
The measure applies to a period extending from last November through February this year and does not cover electricity transfer costs.
Reimbursements will be paid via credits on electricity bills. That said, compensation for the months of November and December will appear as a credit on April's bill. January's and February's reimbursements will apply to a summer bill.
Households who have already received a bill falling due in April will see their electricity provider apply the deduction to the following invoice, according to the Energy Authority.
The subsidy is automatic for anyone paying more than 10 cents per kilowatt hour. For households charged the spot price, bills simply have to exceed 90 euros to qualify.
The Energy Authority has estimated that some 900,000 electricity customers can expect to see credits show up on their bills this spring and summer. But with the cost of electricity recently falling, fewer households may be eligible to receive credits for the first two months of this year compared to the end of 2022.
Households do not have to take any action to receive the credits. The exception is customers who switched providers between November and February. They will need to be in touch with their previous electricity company for the credits to be paid directly into their bank account.
The automatic credits do not impact access to other forms of aid that make up a three-part package to help households with electricity bills.
The government lowered the VAT on electricity from 24 to 10 percent from last December until the end of April.
Tax deductions are also available for those faced with electricity bills totalling more than 2,000 euros between January and April 2023 (that is, bills averaging more than 500 euros per month).
A temporary support paid by benefits agency Kela is available to those faced with large bills but who are not eligible for tax deductions because their income is too low.
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