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Temporary assistance with electricity costs

Due to a dramatic rise in the price of electricity, households will be able to apply for support with their electricity expenses in 2023.

The primary way to access this support is by claiming tax credit for electricity from the Finnish Tax Administration. In order to qualify for the tax credit, one must have electricity costs exceeding 2,000 euros for the period January to April 2023 and have accrued sufficient taxes for the purposes of the credit. Households that have not accrued enough taxes due to low income can apply for the assistance with electricity costs from Kela. 

The application period for assistance with electricity costs has ended

It was possible to apply for assistance with electricity costs from Kela for electricity costs incurred in the period from 1 January to 30 April 2023. The application period for assistance with electricity costs ended on 31 December 2023.

You cannot get both tax credit and assistance. Receiving even a small amount of assistance with electricity costs disqualifies the recipient for the tax credit.

Who can get assistance with electricity costs?

You can get the assistance with electricity costs if you have large electricity bills but are ineligible for the full tax credit for electricity due to your low annual income. Learn more about the tax credit for electricity on the website of the Finnish Tax Administration (vero.fi).

You can receive assistance with electricity costs from Kela for electricity costs incurred in a permanent dwelling for the period 1 January to 30 April 2023. The assistance is available for the electricity costs of one dwelling only, and this dwelling must be located in Finland.

The assistance covers electricity costs, value-added tax and basic charges. The assistance is not available for electricity transmission costs or for late payment penalty fees.

Taking active steps to reduce your electricity consumption also helps keep your electricity costs in check: Tips for saving electricity (astettaalemmas.fi).

First find out if you can get tax credit for electricity

Use the following examples to assess your eligibility for the tax credit for electricity or for receiving assistance with electricity costs from Kela. Neither the assistance nor the tax credit covers electricity transmission costs.

  • Tax credit for electricity: In order to qualify for the tax credit, you must have electricity expenses exceeding a total of EUR 2,000 in the period January to April, i.e. the costs must exceed an average of EUR 500 per month.
  • Assistance with electricity costs: You cannot receive assistance with electricity costs from Kela because the own-liability threshold for the assistance is EUR 400 per month.
  • Basic social assistance: You can apply for basic social assistance from Kela if the income and assets available to you do not cover the expenses recognized for purposes of basic social assistance. Expenses recognized for purposes of basic social assistance include electricity bills. Learn more about how income and assets affect the basic social assistance.
  • Tax credit for electricity: In order to qualify for the tax credit, you must have electricity expenses exceeding a total of EUR 2,000 in the period January to April, i.e. the costs must exceed an average of EUR 500 per month.
  • Assistance with electricity costs: If you do not qualify for the tax credit from the Tax Administration, you can apply for assistance with electricity costs from Kela. The amount of the assistance is 60% of the amount of the electricity bill, excluding the cost of electricity transmission and the own-liability of EUR 400. If, for example, the amount of your electricity bill is EUR 450 per month excluding electricity transmission costs, the amount of the assistance is (EUR 450 – EUR 400) x 0,6 = EUR 30 per month.
  • Tax credit for electricity: Apply for tax credit for electricity if you know that the amount of income tax you will be paying in 2023 matches or exceeds the amount of the tax credit for electricity (vero.fi). The tax credit amounts to 60% of the electricity costs exceeding EUR 2,000 for the period January to April. Costs for electricity transmission are not included. If your electricity costs average EUR 800 per month in January to April, reaching a total of EUR 3,200 for the four months, your tax credit amounts to a total of (EUR 3,200-EUR 2,000) x 0.6 = EUR 720 per year. The tax credit for electricity shares an own-liability threshold of EUR 100 with the other tax credits for household costs.
  • Assistance with electricity costs: If the total amount of income tax accrued by your household during 2023 does not match or exceed the amount of the tax credit for electricity (here, EUR 720), you can apply for the assistance with electricity costs from Kela instead. The amount of the assistance is 60% of the amount of the electricity bill, excluding the cost of electricity transmission and the own-liability of EUR 400. If, for example, the amount of your electricity bill is EUR 800 per month excluding electricity transmission costs, the amount of the assistance is (EUR 800 – EUR 400) x 0,6 = EUR 240 per month.

You can use the tax percentage calculator on the Tax Administration website (vero.fi) to estimate your accrued taxes. When estimating your accrued taxes you can also make use of your 2021 tax decision or, starting in January, a decision on preassessment for 2023. These are available in MyTax (vero.fi). Select the tab Activities and then under Messages and communication click on the link Decisions and letters.

  • Tax credit for electricity: Apply for tax credit for electricity if you know that the amount of income tax you will be paying in 2023 matches or exceeds the amount of the tax credit for electricity (vero.fi). The tax credit amounts to 60% of the electricity costs exceeding EUR 2,000 for the period January to April. Costs for electricity transmission are not included. If your electricity costs average EUR 1,000 per month in January to April, reaching a total of EUR 4,000 for the four months, your tax credit amounts to a total of (EUR 4,000-EUR 2,000) x 0.6 = EUR 1,200 per year. The tax credit for electricity shares a joint own-liability threshold of EUR 100 with the other tax credits for household costs.
  • Assistance with electricity costs: If the total amount of income tax accrued by your household during 2023 does not match or exceed the amount of the tax credit for electricity (here, EUR 1,200), you can apply for the assistance with electricity costs from Kela instead. The amount of the assistance is 60% of the amount of the electricity bill, excluding the cost of electricity transmission and the own-liability of EUR 400. If, for example, the amount of your electricity bill is EUR 1,000 per month excluding electricity transmission costs, the amount of the assistance is (EUR 1,000 – EUR 400) x 0,6 = EUR 360 per month.

You can use the tax percentage calculator on the Tax Administration website (vero.fi) to estimate your accrued taxes. When estimating your accrued taxes you can also make use of your 2021 tax decision or, starting in January, a decision on preassessment for 2023. These are available in MyTax (vero.fi). Select the tab Activities and then under Messages and communication click on the link Decisions and letters.

  • Tax credit for electricity: Apply for tax credit for electricity if you know that the amount of income tax you will be paying in 2023 matches or exceeds the amount of the tax credit for electricity (vero.fi). The tax credit amounts to 60% of the electricity costs exceeding EUR 2,000 for the period January to April. Costs for electricity transmission are not included. If your electricity costs average EUR 1,500 per month in January to April, reaching a total of EUR 6,000 for the four months, your tax credit amounts to a total of (EUR 6,000-EUR 2,000) x 0.6 = EUR 2,400 per year. This is the maximum amount of the tax credit for electricity. The tax credit for electricity shares a joint own-liability threshold of EUR 100 with the other tax credits for household costs.
  • Assistance with electricity costs: If the total amount of income tax accrued by your household during 2023 does not match or exceed the amount of the tax credit for electricity (here, EUR 2,400), you can apply for the assistance with electricity costs from Kela instead. The amount of the assistance is 60% of the amount of the electricity bill, excluding the cost of electricity transmission and the own-liability of EUR 400. If, for example, the amount of your electricity bill is EUR 1,500 per month excluding electricity transmission costs, the amount of the assistance is (EUR 1,500 – EUR 400) x 0,6 = EUR 660 per month. This is the maximum amount of the assistance per month.

You can use the tax percentage calculator on the Tax Administration website (vero.fi) to estimate your accrued taxes. When estimating your accrued taxes you can also make use of your 2021 tax decision or, starting in January, a decision on preassessment for 2023. These are available in MyTax (vero.fi). Select the tab Activities and then under Messages and communication click on the link Decisions and letters.

  • Tax credit for electricity: Apply for tax credit for electricity if you know that the amount of income tax you will be paying in 2023 matches or exceeds the amount of the tax credit for electricity (vero.fi). The tax credit amounts to 60% of the electricity costs exceeding EUR 2,000 for the period January to April. Costs for electricity transmission are not included. If your electricity costs average EUR 2,000 per month in January to April, reaching a total of EUR 8,000 for the four months, your tax credit amounts to a total of (EUR 8,000-EUR 2,000) x 0.6 = EUR 2,400 per year. The tax credit for electricity shares a joint own-liability threshold of EUR 100 with the other tax credits for household costs.
  • Assistance with electricity costs: If the total amount of income tax accrued by your household during 2023 does not match or exceed the amount of the tax credit for electricity (here, EUR 2,400), you can apply for the assistance with electricity costs from Kela instead. The amount of the assistance is 60% of the amount of the electricity bill, excluding the cost of electricity transmission and the own-liability of EUR 400. If your electricity bill is EUR 2,000 per month (excluding electricity transmission costs), you are eligible for a maximum of EUR 660 per month of assistance. This is the maximum amount of the assistance per month.

You can use the tax percentage calculator on the Tax Administration website (vero.fi) to estimate your accrued taxes. When estimating your accrued taxes you can also make use of your 2021 tax decision or, starting in January, a decision on preassessment for 2023. These are available in MyTax (vero.fi). Select the tab Activities and then under Messages and communication click on the link Decisions and letters.

Amount and payment of the assistance with electricity costs

There is an own-liability threshold of EUR 400 per month for the assistance with electricity costs. The assistance with electricity costs is equal to 60% of electricity costs exceeding EUR 400 for the period January to April. 

You cannot receive the assistance with electricity costs for electricity transmission costs. As a consequence, they are not included in the own-liability or in the costs exceeding the own-liability threshold. 

The maximum amount of the assistance is EUR 660 per month. You qualify for the maximum amount if your electricity costs exceeding the own-liability threshold are at least EUR 1,500 per month. The minimum payable assistance is EUR 5 per month.

Example of the amount of the assistance

In February 2023, the electricity consumption in an electrically heated single-family home is 2,600 kWh and the price of electricity is 35 cents per kWh. This means that the electricity bill for February amounts to EUR 910, excluding electricity transmission costs. The own-liability threshold for the assistance with electricity costs is EUR 400. The amount of the assistance paid by Kela for February is (EUR 910 - EUR 400) x 0.6 = EUR 306.

If the electricity bill is not for a full calendar month or for full calendar months, the own-liability threshold is calculated on a daily basis. 

Example of a bill for a period shorter than one month

A customer moves to a different apartment and receives an electricity bill of EUR 395 for the period 1 January 2023 to 28 January 2023. Since the bill does not cover the full month, Kela will calculate the own-liability threshold on a daily basis.

  • The own-liability threshold for the assistance with electricity costs is EUR 400. There are 31 days in January.
  • The own-liability threshold for the assistance thus comes to EUR 12.9032 per day in January (EUR 400:31 days). 
  • The customer’s electricity bill is for 28 days, and the own-liability threshold for that period is EUR 361.29 (EUR 12.9032 x 28). 
  • The amount of assistance with electricity costs that the customer will receive is (EUR 395 – EUR 361.29) x 0,6 = EUR 20.23. 

Even though the electricity costs are less than the own-liability threshold of EUR 400 per month, the customer will receive assistance with electricity costs from Kela.

There is no tax on the assistance and for the most part it does not affect any other benefits paid to you. However, in connection with the basic social assistance, the assistance with electricity costs is counted as income.

You can also not receive assistance with electricity costs or tax credit for electricity for a part of your electricity bill for which you have already been granted basic social assistance. If you have been granted basic social assistance for an entire electricity bill, you cannot receive any assistance with electricity costs or tax credit for electricity on the basis of that particular bill. Read more about housing costs and basic social assistance.

Kela will pay the assistance with electricity costs to your account within two banking days after your application has been processed and you have been granted the assistance.

Basic social assistance and electricity costs

You can apply for basic social assistance from Kela if the income and assets available to you do not cover the expenses recognized for purposes of basic social assistance. Expenses recognized for purposes of basic social assistance include electricity bills. Please note that you cannot receive assistance with electricity costs or tax credit for electricity for a part of your electricity bill for which you have already been granted basic social assistance. If you have been granted basic social assistance for an entire electricity bill, you can no longer receive any tax credit for electricity or assistance with electricity costs on the basis of that particular bill.

Last modified 2/1/2024

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