Crisis for Furuset.  Got rejected by the electricity company

Crisis for Furuset. Got rejected by the electricity company

The Oslo club Furuset IF is one of those who suffer the most from the high electricity prices in southern Norway.

– We are in a huge liquidity crisis, says general manager Vidar H. Noreng at the club to TV 2.

On Friday afternoon, Culture Minister Anette Trettebergstuen (Ap) announced that the government wants to introduce an improved support scheme for teams and voluntary organisations. Where the current support will be increased from 80 per cent to 90 per cent above 70 øre kWh in the period October-December 2022.

In addition, the government urged the power companies to grant payment deferrals to teams and sports associations that are struggling financially.

Furuset IF took the government at its word.

This week they contacted their electricity supplier to request payment deferral.

– We contacted our electricity supplier verbally, but received a no from the customer contact on this question, says a despairing Norwegian to TV 2.

DESPAIRED: Vidar H. Noreng in Furuset. Photo: Sverre Saabye/TV 2

– The box is empty

The Oslo club has a proud ice hockey history, and both operates and owns the Furuset Forum facility.

Last year, the club paid NOK 1.8 million in electricity bills. This year, they are likely to have to pay NOK 4.5 million.

The new support scheme that the government wants to introduce will probably help the club somewhat.

But the problem for Furuset is that the arrangement not is introduced yet.

According to the plan, this will only happen after the matter has been dealt with in the Storting at the beginning of October.

– The old support scheme (80% above 70 øre kwh daily note) therefore still applies for the months of July, August and September. And especially in August and September, our electricity consumption is high, because that’s when we put ice in the hall. Our coffers will therefore be almost empty in October, says Noreng.

– The hook on the door

The government’s support scheme will continue to be paid in arrears, quarterly. This means that Furuset must post for the months of October, November and December before they get money back from the state.

Several sports leaders TV 2 has spoken to in recent weeks have pointed to this liquidity challenge as the biggest.

– In October, November and December, we have stipulated a consumption of between NOK 700,000 to 900,000 a month. Publishing these for the sums over the next three months is something very few Norwegian sports clubs have the opportunity to do. If something doesn’t happen around this, it could quickly be the hook on the door for us, warns Noreng.

One alternative to save money could be to remove the ice in the Furuset Forum – as Nærbø has done in his ice hockey hall in Stavanger.

But according to Noreng, that would have given the club enormous consequences.

– If we have to cut the ice now, I would say that the season is over. It will also cost far too much to add the ice again at a later date. But it may still be appropriate to do so, he says.

ICE HALL WITHOUT ICE?: One way to save money can be to remove the ice in the Furuset Forum.  Photo: Sverre Saabye / TV 2

ICE HALL WITHOUT ICE?: One way to save money can be to remove the ice in the Furuset Forum. Photo: Sverre Saabye / TV 2

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