In order to mitigate the rise in energy prices this winter, the state developed various temporary compensations, most of which were in place until the end of March. In the six months to date, the Environmental Investment Centre has received applications for EUR 158 million in compensation for private and business consumers, and more than EUR 10 million in energy subsidies have been paid out so far through local authorities.
‘This winter, energy consumers had to contend with soaring energy prices, which hit those who have invested less in saving energy in their homes or businesses the hardest. With the arrival of spring, consumers’ energy bills have become smaller, but now is certainly the right time to review consumption habits and contracts, as well as to make the necessary investments, where possible, to insure themselves against the uncertainties of the energy market in the long term,’ said Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas.
The Minister pointed out that at the end of the winter the Riigikogu also adopted amendments to the Electricity Market Act, which will allow energy sellers to offer fixed-term contracts with fixed energy prices to household consumers on more favourable terms. ‘It is certainly wise for consumers to ask their trader about such an option,’ Aas added.
Until the end of March, energy prices were temporarily softened by various subsidies for energy consumed, which consumers did not have to pay for themselves. The state paid compensation for electricity and gas network charges to all consumers, compensation based on electricity and gas price scales and compensation for district heating price increases to household consumers, and compensation for natural gas prices to business consumers.
A total of EUR 158 million in energy price increases were compensated to consumers through the Environmental Investment Centre. A total of EUR 113 million will be spent by the state to mitigate the effects of electricity price rises, EUR 31 million for gas, and EUR 13.5 million for district heating. The payment of March compensation to network operators, energy traders, and management companies is still ongoing; however, the acceptance of applications is now closed.
Households with up to average income will still be able to apply for compensation of electricity, gas, and district heating bills through their local authorities, with the compensation period running until the end of April. So far, around EUR 10.5 million has been paid out. More information about this support can be found on the website of the Ministry of Finance.
Support has helped a large number of consumers across Estonia. The total number of household electricity consumers in Estonia is about 640,000 and business consumers 90,000, while the total number of household natural gas consumers is about 44,500, and business consumers 13,000. Household consumers were compensated through EIC for the increase in the cost of district heating in 92 district heating networks, which also affects hundreds of thousands of consumers.