The government is finalizing a compensation package for rising district heating bills but it is not yet known if the limit will be 50 or 80 percent, Minister of Economic Affairs Taavi Aas (Center) said on Wednsday.
The state is already supporting electricity costs with compensation and a price cap, but now it wants to introduce similar measures for district heating, which many apartment blocks use for central heating, Aas said on live broadcast "Otse uudistemajast".
The scheme will be in place to cover February and March's bills.
"We want to compensate consumers for part of this price increase through heating companies so that people are billed less. The heating company will get its share [money] back through the Environmental Investment Center," he said.
Asked if this would require a state aid permit, Aas said it would not as long as private individuals were receiving support. The matter differs when it comes to companies.
"We will work primarily with private individuals so that everything can be as easy and fast as possible," he said.
The minister said the details are still being discussed but the deadline for decisions is the middle of February. It is not yet clear how much the measure will cost the state.
"How much this could amount to depends on where the price limit is set. Whether 50 percent or 80 percent of the heating bill will be reimbursed. It will be in the order of €10-20 million. We have agreed on a scheme in the coalition, a compensation rate is being negotiated," Aas said.
The money to fund the scheme will be paid from the state budget.
Editor: Helen Wright