First be aware of what enabling GL_NORMALIZE actually does and what circumstances you may need it in. If you never scale your matrix, you don't need it. If you do scale but it's uniform (i.e. x, y and z are scaled by the same amount), you don't need it - use GL_RESCALE_NORMAL instead.
So having determined that you do need it, is it slow? Well, it's certainly going to be slower than not using it, but that may not necessarily translate into "slow" - in other words, using GL_NORMALIZE may not suddenly throw you down to single digit framerates. If you can still hit your target performance when using it, then you can hardly call it "slow", can you?
And finally, you've tagged your question "OpenGL ES" but you're not saying which version. In 2013 you may well be lighting per-fragment, and renormalizing in your fragment shader anyway, in which case none of this discussion is relevant.