Denmark gives cash to 400,000 households hit by energy costs

A cash payout of 6,000 kroner was sent to around 400,000 households in Dennmark on Wednesday in a measure intended to relieve people struggling with high energy costs.

Denmark gives cash to 400,000 households hit by energy costs
Danish minister for climate, energy and critical supplies Dan Jørgensen confirms a one-off cash benefit for eligible homes amid high energy prices in February 2022. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The one-off payouts, which were agreed by parliament in March, were sent on Wednesday to over 400,000 households which meet the criteria set to receive the relief.

“We hope that this outstretched hand of 6,000 kroner will be a helping hand in a difficult time for Danes who are finding it hardest of all due to increasing heating prices,” the minister for climate, energy and critical supplies, Dan Jørgensen, said in a statement.

All residents of Denmark are eligible to receive the payments, provided their household meets the relevant criteria – not just Danish nationals as could be inferred from Jørgensen’s statement.

“It was important for the parties behind this agreement to help in a way that could be felt and in a targeted way. We think this cash will make a difference,” he said.

Households with a collective pre-tax income of under 706,000 kroner are eligible for the one-off cash boosts, which are costing the government 2.4 billion kroner.

Additionally, the household should be primarily heated by individual gas heaters, electronic radiators or be located in a district heating area in which the heating is produced by at least 65 percent gas.

Eligible houses do not have to apply for the cheque and will receive the payment automatically to their designated account (Nemkonto). In households with more than one person, the oldest member of the household receives the payment.

Errors in registration data can result in households which meet the criteria not receiving payments automatically, according to the Danish Energy Agency. People who believe that their household meets the criteria, but have not received the money, will be able to apply for it to be sent to them at a later date. Application will be possible from January 2023. 

Jørgensen said on Wednesday that the government did not expect any further cash payouts to be made to homes heated by gas. Instead, the government’s focus is to move away from dependence on gas as an energy source.

“Before the summer holidays we made a plan that ensures we phase out gas as a heating source, he said.

READ ALSO: Denmark announces major plan to replace gas heating in homes

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Denmark’s energy infrastructure on alert after Nord Stream gas leakages

Denmark’s Energy Agency has asked the national infrastructure operator to raise its alert level for the gas and electricity sector following leaks at three different sections of gas pipe near Baltic Sea island Bornholm.

Denmark’s energy infrastructure on alert after Nord Stream gas leakages

The Energy Agency confirmed in a statement that it had made the request of Energinet, the company responsible for the overall operation of the Danish electricity and gas system.

“Breaches of gas pipelines occur extremely rarely and we therefore see the need to raise the alert level as a result of the events we have seen during the last day,” Danish Energy Agency director Kristoffer Böttzauw said.

“We want to ensure thorough observation of Denmark’s critical infrastructure to strengthen supply security going forward,” he said.

The alert level has been raised to orange, the second-highest level.

Orange level means that companies in the sector are to be alert to security at their facilities.

The higher alert level means that “the physical security of vital buildings and installations is checked,” Böttzauw told news wire Ritzau.

“You make sure that fences are intact, that security cameras are working and that there are regular patrols. And you limit access as much as possible,” he said.

The energy agency director was not drawn to speculate on the cause of the leakages, which occurred on sections of the Nord Stream 2 and Nord Stream 1 Russia-to-Europe gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

“It’s too early to say [what caused it]. We will naturally do all we can to investigate together with the relevant authorities, including the military and police,” he said.

The Nord Stream 1 leaks were first spotted Monday evening, an hour after a drop in pressure was reported in Nord Stream 2, according to the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA).

One of the leaks on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline occurred in the Danish economic zone and the other in the Swedish economic zone.

Danish F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to photograph the area on Monday after Danish authorities were alerted to a possible leak.

Newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported that the aircraft observed the “sea bubbling” at a location southeast of Bornholm.

The Danish Navy frigate Absalon has meanwhile been sent to the area around Bornholm, broadcaster DR reports.

The frigate will observe the area and warn civil maritime traffic to keep a distance, according to DR.

READ ALSO: Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline hit by ‘leaks’ in Swedish and Danish zones