Support measures aimed at mitigating high natural gas prices may cost the Estonian state over €4 million for October alone.
Soaring natural gas prices which began in 2021 and gained pace with the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine early on this year prompted the government to issue support measures to help householders deal with the high prices; while these are capped to consumer, natural gas suppliers are to be compensated for the lower prices they are able to charge.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Larua Laster said: "Since the Environmental Investment Center (KIK) is still processing the data, the number will be refined a little, but not to a significant extent."
The basic figure as requested by suppliers is €4.158 million, while requests from intermediaries have to be added on to this, though only in the order of a few thousand euros in each case.
The support measure is set to run to the end of March next year, during which time there is also a general election; under the terms of the scheme the state will compensate 80 percent of that part of a monthly average gas bill in excess of €80 per MWh, exclusive of VAT.
Consumption per household is capped at 2.6 MWh – the average consumption for a private house.
Householders can still consume more natural gas, but this will not be compensated for; the consumption limit does not apply to housing associations in apartment blocks.
The subsidies are applied automatically; householders do not need to do anything more and will see the discounted price on their monthly bills.
Similar support measures have been rolled out for electricity and district heating, which itself often uses natural gas to heat up the water piped in to apartment blocks in order to provide winter heating.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Karin Koppel