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PR(05)18: Norwegian electricity tax exemption for companies participating in an energy efficiency programme is cleared


The EFTA Surveillance Authority today approved a Norwegian programme which exempts energy intensive companies, predominantly in the paper and pulp industry, from the electricity tax. The tax relief is conditional on the participation of these companies in an energy efficiency programme according to which the companies must achieve certain energy saving targets within a five-year period.

At present companies in the Norwegian manufacturing and mining industry pay a reduced electricity tax of NOK 0.0045/kWh, which was authorised by the Authority in its decision of 30 June 2004.

The energy efficiency programme was notified by Norway in November 2004. Under the programme, energy intensive companies will receive a full tax exemption if they meet certain energy efficiency goals during a five-year period. The conditions consist of the implementation of an energy management system (including fixed company targets) and the introduction of energy saving measures.

The Norwegian authorities estimate that the measures will lead to energy savings of approximately 2% of the present consumption of the participating companies. These savings would be higher or at least as high as the energy savings which would have been achieved if the companies had paid the tax.

The European Commission had approved similar energy saving measures in the Community in the past, in particular for Sweden, whose energy efficiency system is in many respects similar to the Norwegian programme.

For further information, please contact Mr. Amund Utne (Director, Competition & State aid Directorate), tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 51 or Ms. Annette Kliemann, Senior Officer, Competition & State aid Directorate, tel. (+32) (0) 2 286 18 80.  

22 July 2005

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