The director of power company Landsvirkjun confirmed at their yearly meeting on Friday that not only do aluminum smelters in Iceland pay less for electricity than they do in the US; they are also charged lower rates for electricity than Icelandic households.
Landsvirkjun director Hörður Arnarson pointed out that while aluminum smelters in Europe pay 59 dollars per megawatt hour and 75 dollars per megawatt hour in the US, smelters in Iceland are only charged 26 dollars per megawatt hour. This is more likely than not attributable to the electricity sources being hydroelectric and geothermal.
However, he said, the recent discussion about the difference between what Icelandic households are charged for power and what smelters pay has been confusing. He believes it unfair to point out that Icelanders pay 11 ISK per kilowatt hour while smelters pay 3 ISK per kilowatt hour. More fair, he says, would be to compare what is paid solely for the use of electricity. In that case, Icelandic hosueholds pay 3.5 ISK per kilowatt hour, while smelters pay 2.5 ISK.
So cheer up, Icelanders. Foreign corporations only pay about 33% less for your electricity than you do; not about 70%. Don’t you feel better?