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Enova Support Criticized for Inadequacy as Electricity Costs Soar

Electricity prices have been sky high this winter as well. But it’s not enough that it costs to heat our home, so each one of us pays one penny per kWh to Enova over the net rental bill. In total, Norwegian electricity customers paid close to NOK 693 million in Enova support i 2023.

In return, we get support for single-use measures. But the support doesn’t hit over the heads of people who need it, says Gro Haug from Ås.

– Those who don’t have money for their electricity bills during the day can’t afford all the great single-use measures either, says Haug to Nettavisen.

– We will not get back the money we pay in.

Because it is not simple measures such as additional insulation and heat pumps, which effectively reduce the need for heat in the house, that people can get support for. Enova’s mandate is to build a market for new monoculture technologies, then gradually phase out the support and finally end the subsidy.

That is to say, they do not support normal air-to-air heat pumps, which easily and effectively cut energy consumption, but for example this can cost up to NOK 300,000 to install, but the grant amount is NOK 10,000.

In 2023, Enova paid out NOK 582 million to households for single-use measures, spread over approximately 34,000 projects.

Energy adviser: – Should have a social profile

Energy advisor and general manager Stian Øygardslia at Kraftkar Energi on Ål says that the Enova support does not hit hard enough.

– Enova’s approach to support schemes for energy-saving measures is broadly based on the market’s need for stimulus, says Øygardslia.

He points to the heat pump support that people were previously able to get support to buy.

– If Enova had been established to actually stimulate the market in the direction of lower energy consumption, they would still have provided support for this technology.

Øygardslia believes that those who need it most do not have the opportunity to buy a heat pump.

– Often it is those with the greatest need for a heat pump who unfortunately cannot afford it. For older homes, retrofitting, for example, can entail a much greater cost without necessarily as great a climate benefit as air to air heat pumps. Enova should definitely reconsider this support scheme.

– Would a social profile on the Enova support be appropriate?

– A social profile on all support schemes will make climate measures more accessible to those who actually need it most.

– As mentioned, Enova wants to stimulate the market. Larger measures such as energy wells and water-borne heat provides major environmental benefits in the form of energy savings. That said, these measures are by no means feasible for everyone. I am probably afraid that these measures help to make the differences greater.

Øygardslia also sells heat pumps.

Brutally lowered energy costs

But if you have the opportunity to initiate major measures, you can really lower your energy costs considerably.

Karen Byskov Lindberg and her family experienced this, who bought a 200 square meter house from the 1960s in Bærum. It was drafty and cold, and it took 52,000 kWh a year to run it. But the family is more than average interested in energy and energy saving. Byskov Lindberg is an associate professor in energy system analysis at NTNU and has specialist expertise in precisely energy saving. The family embarked on an extreme renovation using all available measures. The total renovation costs came to just under NOK 1.4 million.

From Enova, they received NOK 190,750 in Enova support. After the refurbishment, the electricity bill for the whole of 2022 was NOK 178.

The house received an extra winter jacket in the form of insulation, three-layer windows, rock heat pump, water-borne heating, all topped off with solar panels.

– We produce around 10,500 kWh of electricity annually, and of this we sold 7,300 kWh in 2022. In addition, we bought 8,400 kWh for which there was electricity support. When the year was over, we had an electricity bill totaling NOK 147.

Byskov Lindberg believes that the Enova support constitutes far too small a part of the total investment needed to reduce consumption in Norway’s building stock.

– If the support is to be able to trigger the savings potential, higher support rates are needed, she says.

Ensuring that the house uses less energy has an effect beyond the individual’s wallet.

– Sintef has calculated that we can save around 20 TWh in the building mass by 2050 if we both re-insulate and install water-borne heat with a geothermal heat pump. This amounts to 15 percent of Norway’s total electricity consumption, and is almost as much as the entire Oslo region uses in the course of a year.

If our homes use less energy, less new electricity production needs to be developed.

– We can avoid building out more production and power lines, and we avoid building down more nature, in addition to people getting lower electricity bills. The most environmentally friendly kWh is the one we don’t use.

Byskov Lindberg has good advice for those who want to make their home more efficient.

– It is clear that not everyone has that much money to spend. Not everyone can do everything at the same time as we have done. Therefore, it is all the more important to make the right long-term choices along the way and to do it properly. For example, re-insulate when changing the cladding, or add water-based heating if you are going to lay a new floor.

Better add a power support

The Ministry of Climate and Environment owns Enova. But in politics, there is currently not everything to gain.

Storting representative Mathilde Tybring-Gjedde (H) sits on the energy and environment committee. She tells Nettavisen that we should follow two tracks. Households should receive support for so-called mature technology (for example heat pumps, editor’s note).

– Enova’s role is primarily to support unprofitable technology so that the price of the technology is reduced so that more people can buy it. But the Conservative Party has also proposed that there should be some one-off support for more mature technology. For many people, receiving support for energy savings will be better than electricity support. Nor does Strømstøtten have any social profile, says .

At the same time, Tybring-Gjedde says that the Conservative Party helped allocate NOK 100 million to the Husbanken.

– We thought that we should have a separate scheme for those who have a low income and who need help to upgrade their energy. The housing bank is a better place for social arrangements. Enova should also support both business and households with both mature and immature technology. We have to have two thoughts in our heads at the same time.

The FRP believes that the support should go to supporting cost-effective measures.

– Most of it goes to support various technological developments in climate. Emission-free construction sites and the like. The mandate should be reversed so that they once again support effective and cost-effective single-use measures in housing, business and industry, says Storting representative Marius Nilsen (Frp) to Nettavisen.

– Have changed the scheme – to construction

State Secretary Ragnhild Sjoner Syrstad (Ap) tells Nettavisen that they have already made a change in the allocation of the Enova support. But it goes to housing associations and condominiums.

– Enova has created a new system that allows for the use of more mature technology. It is simple: first you get support for energy mapping and then a percentage support for investment adapted to this home based on what the mapping recommended. It is technology neutral and will help to give the building a better energy rating.

Syrstad says that Enova is considering whether this scheme can be adapted to single-family houses as well, if the energy label scheme is improved so that it is easier to measure the results of the energy efficiency efforts and give percentage support accordingly.

Would like to save electricity

But Gro Haug on Ås is ready to upgrade and replace its oven anyway.

– Give me a good chunk of the support and then I’ll replace the oven, but before you can do that, the support is gone. I thought it was there so that those who can initiate single-use measures could do so. Help us save electricity, says Hauge.

2024-02-17 17:21:28
#Enøk #fund #money #pay

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