Denmark to present plan that could end use of Russian gas

A new economic reform plan, expected to be presented next week, could set out a roadmap for Denmark to phase out its use of Russian gas.

A district heating power station in Denmark
A district heating power station in Denmark. The Nordic country wants to reduce the number homes using individual gas heating systems. Photo: Tim Kildeborg Jensen/Ritzau Scanpix

The reform proposals are to be presented at a press briefing on Tuesday following the Easter break, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.

“The proposal will address issues including how Denmark can accelerate conversion to green energy and become more quickly independent of Russian gas,” the statement read.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has already given some detail of the proposal in an interview with newspaper Berlingske.

One element is a plan to convert 400,000 individually gas heated homes to an alternative energy source.

“We must move them to district heating or individual heating pumps where this is viable. We must ensure Danes move away from natural gas,” she said.

The proposal will contain an additional four parts as well as the plan related to gas heating.

More will be spent on developing sustainable energy under the plan, while a tax reform will include a unified tax on CO2 emissions. An effort will be made to export technology that promotes efficient energy use, while the government will also look into the use of increasing natural gas production in Denmark.

The process of converting individually gas heated homes to other sources could take years, according to industry organisations including Dansk Fjernvarme, which represents the interests of the district heating sector.

Around 250,000 of the 400,000 currently-individually heated homes could be offered district heating, according to the organisation.

That would take a considerable amount of time, however, the organisation’s director said after Frederiksen’s comments were published.

“I would like to be able to say that it would take a maximum of five years. But it’s probably more realistic to say between five and seven years before this is complete,” Kim Mortensen, director of Dansk Fjernvarme, said.

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Denmark opens platform to apply for energy bill cash relief

Denmark residents can from 10am on Tuesday apply for last autumn’s 6,000-kroner energy bill relief, if they were not sent it at the time and think they may be eligible.

Denmark opens platform to apply for energy bill cash relief

The application platform,, states that applications can be sent from 10am on Tuesday and for the next eight weeks.

The tax-free cash payout or varmecheck of 6,000 kroner was approved by parliament last spring in response to rising energy prices and sent out automatically in August to households which met set criteria.

Some 411,000 households in Denmark received the money, which was intended to help people struggling with additional costs caused by the energy crisis.

The application platform can be used by households which are eligible for the money but did not receive it during the original payment round.

Households with a collective pre-tax income of under 706,000 kroner were eligible for the one-off cash boosts. Additionally, the household should be primarily heated by individual gas heaters (or have experienced similar increases to bills as such homes) or be located in a district heating area in which the heating is produced by at least 65 percent gas.

Errors in registration data may have resulted in households which met the criteria not receiving payments automatically in the original round, the Danish Energy Agency said at the time.

READ ALSO: How to apply for Denmark’s 6,000 kroner energy relief if you were missed by automatic payments

The varmecheck scheme has been extensively discussed in parliament. The previous, single-party Social Democratic government received criticism from opponents after some people were sent the money even though they did not fulfil the criteria, for example because they had replaced their gas boilers but the registration data on their homes was outdated.

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that up to 10,600 homes received the original payment in error. The Danish Energy Agency said between 1.6 percent and 2.6 percent of recipients were not actually eligible for the relief.