The Swedish government will allocate some $670 million to compensate households for skyrocketing electricity prices, Finance Minister Mikkel Damberg said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“This is an exceptional measure in an exceptional situation, it is unusual to go in with support when prices fluctuate in markets,” Damberg stated in an interview with broadcaster SVT.
The electricity bill for an average apartment in the most populous southern regions of Sweden jumped by 266% in December, Sputnik reported, citing the country’s energy market regulator.
“We hadn’t expected these price levels and now they are hitting very hard,” Damberg stated, adding that the government will allocate “an enormous amount of money” to compensate for people’s increased spending.
Sweden plans to spend some SEK 6 billion (roughly $670 million) to help the households most affected by the rise in prices.
According to figures announced, a total of 1.8 million households will get compensation amounting to around $220 each during the winter months.
Electricity prices in the country are rapidly rising amid cold weather and increased demand, also driven by the broader European gas price increase. Local reports state that Swedes are attempting to lower their electricity consumption by a range of means – from turning off the radiators to using alternative means of heating, while some are even reportedly taking bank loans to pay their electricity bills.
Sweden is not the first EU nation to compensate residents for high electricity prices. Norway introduced a similar measure last month, while Italy did the same back in September.
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