Heating aid conceptually agreed on in Latvia

On Monday, 8 August, the coalition parties conceptually supported the solution proposed by the Ministry of Economics (EM) to cover half the increase in heating costs for households. 

The framework for support mechanisms prepared by the EM provides that compensation will be granted not only to people who heat housing with electricity, natural gas, or central heating, but also to those who heat with firewood, wood pellets or briquettes.

The total amount of aid is therefore to be increased from the EUR 350 million initially outlined to EUR 430 million. The total amount of aid can still change, said Gatis Eglītis, the Minister for Welfare, after the coalition meeting. This amount does not include potential State aid to energy-efficient enterprises, as it does not yet have precise estimates.

it will be possible to receive compensation for half the sum of purchased wood pellets, firewood or briquettes, which cost above €300 per tonne. Support can already be received if the purchases have been made since May this year. To obtain the support, a document certifying the purchase must be submitted to the municipality.

Between May and September, one-off aid of €60 will be available to all residents with wood heating, without requiring a check for the purchased wood. It will be necessary to complete an application for aid and to indicate that the heating is based on wood.

The compensation will be much easier for central heating users as well as for gas-heated households – they will receive an automatic discount at their monthly payment. However, not every user will receive a discount.

The initial EM offer predicted that households using natural gas for heating will be able to receive 3 cents in compensation for each kilowatt hour consumed. Such aid will only be due to customers whose monthly gas consumption is more than 21 cubic meters. The discount will automatically be included in gas bills for the period from July 1 to April 30.  This means that all natural gas users who received big gas bills in July will receive a conversion in August, taking into account the planned compensation, explained Economics Minister Ilze Indriksone (National Alliance).

Similar arrangements apply to central heating users. The discount will amount to 50% of the price above €68 per megawatt hour. The compensation for central heating will apply from October 1 to April 30.

More and more households in Latvia choose to install a heat pump in housing as a heating mechanism, especially after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The government will offer consumers of heat pumps compensation for the electricity consumed.

Households heated by heat pumps are expected to be compensated for electricity consumption above 500 kilowatt-hours. The compensation amount will be 50% of the electricity price above 16 cents per kilowatt-hour, but no higher than 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. In order to qualify for this aid, a statement must be submitted to the local government that a heat pump is installed in the dwelling. It is planned that this aid will apply from July 1 to April 30.

This aid will be available not only for heat pumps used in heating but also for other types of heating using electricity.

On Tuesday, these support mechanisms will be decided at the government meeting, but on Thursday they are scheduled to be approved by the Saeima in all readings immediately. These aids are limited to households, but the government plans to decide on aid measures for businesses as well.

 

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