By the end of the heating season that concluded this spring, local governments across Estonia had made 119,000 decisions approving paying out a total of €14.7 million in support for electricity, natural gas and district heating bills for families earning up to the median wage.
This total does not reflect further automatic support measures implemented by the state, which were applied directly to consumers' electricity and gas bills, the Ministry of Finance said in a press release.
Minister of Public Administration Riina Solman (Isamaa) noted that this was vital support for households as energy prices unexpectedly shot up. She stressed that the new, Reform-Isamaa-SDE coalition government is also working on limiting energy costs by implementing an electricity market reform as well as drawing up support measures.
Local governments will have an important role in helping people this winter as well, as new national measures won't cover all possible situations, Solman said. She noted that local governments can help via subsistence benefits and emergency aid, and that most also have measures available to homeowners who rely on firewood for heat as well, for example.
"The situation unfortunately won't be getting easier for people, and I urge local governments not to neglect those in need," she said.
Of the support paid out via local governments, electricity costs accounted for 74 percent, natural gas 15 percent and district heating 11 percent.
Overall, support payments paid out last heating season averaged €124 each.
The average was higher primarily in parts of Harju County, however, which have higher numbers of homes heated by electricity or natural gas. In Kiili Municipality, for example, the average payout stood at €232, with payouts averaging €216 in Viimsi Municipality, €214 in Rae Municipality, €212 in Harku Municipality and €204 in Saku Municipality.
Luunja and Kambja municipalities in Tartu County likewise saw higher than average payouts at €250 and €200, respectively.
Last heating season, the Estonian state spent a total of €171 million on energy support measures aimed at household consumers.
Editor: Aili Vahtla