a new device to reduce electricity bills, which is on the table

ASSISTANCE FOR ENERGY COMPANIES. As the energy crisis grows, the government has announced that it is targeting a new system to cover part of companies’ electricity bills.

[Mise à jour du lundi 24 octobre 2022 à  13h25] Businesses, like individuals, are being hit hard by the energy crisis. However, this should continue for several more months. To support businesses and help them get through this complicated period, the government regularly unveils new measures. last, payment of part of the electricity bill, quoted by Bruno Le Maire and Agnès Pannier-Runacher on 21 October.

What support for the electricity bill?

The Ministers of Economy and Energy Transition, meeting in Bercy on 21 October, unveiled the implementation of a new system for SMEs and possibly ETI. To help businesses cope with the energy crisis, the government offers to cover part of their electricity bills. This device is designed to be simpler than existing aids: the government would pay the financial assistance directly to the energy supplier. Businesses shouldn’t make a request. Invited to the microphone of BFMTV on October 23, Agnès Pannier-Runacher detailed the mechanism. “The so-called Arenh part, which gives access to a bill of around 50 euros per megawatt, is already protected. We will cover the remaining 50% part of the cost between a reference price and the reality of the prices that companies pay. “

According to Les Echos, this new mechanism would generate 10-25% savings on the company electricity bill in 2023. Also according to the newspaper, which is based on the hypothesis specified by the office of the Minister for Energy Transition, companies that have entered into contracts with their supplier that provide for a price per megawatt hour (MWh) higher than 325 euros would be entitled to this aid. . The system, which remains to be refined, should be integrated into the 2023 Finance Act.

What is the price shield?

The tariff shield currently affects companies that have fewer than ten employees and generate less than two million euros in turnover. For them, as for families, the increase in electricity and gas prices is therefore limited to 15%. This system complements the aid already in place for large energy-consuming companies. There will not be no very broad tariff shield for French companies, like the one put in place to protect families, specified the ministers of the Economy and Energy Transition, who met on 21 October in Bercy in front of the various professional federations. It would be “too dangerous”, Judge Bruno Le Maire.

What “gas and electricity” assistance for large energy-intensive companies?

Companies whose energy bills exceed 3% of their turnover are entitled to financial aid to cover their expenses. The amount is equal to:

  • 30% of the energy billwithin the limit of two million euros, as soon as the company suffers a drop in gross operating margin (EBITDA) of at least 30% compared to the reference period of 2021 or has a negative EBITDA
  • 50% of invoices up to a limit of 25 million euros for companies that have both a negative EBITDA and losses equal to a maximum of double the amount of the invoices, with coverage of 80% of the losses at most
  • 70% of invoices within the limit of 80 million euros for the companies in the above case that also operate in a sector of strong international competition, listed here.

From 1 November the amount of aid will be doubled for SMEs and the value of 3% of turnover will no longer be based on 2021, but in the last months of 2022, said the Minister of Economy. He also said that it would be enough for the company’s EBITDA to decrease to qualify for this aid. The request is made on the professional space of the company on the tax site. It must be done on specific dates depending on the months for which the help is requested:

  • For the months from March to August 2022: until 31 December 2022
  • For the months of September and October 2022: from 15 November 2022 to 31 January 2023
  • For the months of November and December 2022: from January 16 to February 24 2023.

What does the “Zero Fossil Industry” call consist of?

This aid concerns operating companies practices of decarbonisation of one’s business. The company must register for one of the three sections of the call:

  • Low Carbon Heat for Conversion to Biomass (BCIAT)
  • Energy efficiency and process decarbonisation (DECARB IND), with four pillars: energy efficiency, modification of the energy mix, input of alternative materials, reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) other than CO₂
  • Rapid deployment of decarbonisation in industry (DECARB-FLASH).

For the first two parts, the presentation of the projects is closed, for the third it can be done until November 23 on the Ademe website. The call as a whole benefits from a total budget of 150 million euros.

PGE resilience, what is it?

This state-guaranteed loan concerns companies which are particularly affected the war in Ukraine. Their cash flow must be directly or indirectly penalized by the conflict. Help can then go up to 15% of turnover. The study of the dossiers is carried out on a case-by-case basis.

What is the Resilience subsidized loan?

is direct government loans. They are aimed at companies affected by the crisis and by supply difficulties related to the war in Ukraine. These loans are aimed at VSEs, SMEs, ETIs and, as a priority, industrial companies with more than 50 employees. Companies that have not been able to obtain financing, whether from a bank, a private investor, or a loan guaranteed by the State, are eligible to meet their investment or financing needs.

Requests should be addressed to the departmental committees for the examination of corporate financing problems (CODEFI). Low-interest loans have a maturity (i.e. the maturity date on which they must be repaid) of six years. Sometimes they are eligible for a one-year franchise, meaning that the company is not required to reimburse anything during this period. The current rate is 2.25%.

What is the card with energy suppliers?

The government has made major energy suppliers sign a charter pledging to do so correct application of existing contracts and their renewal conditions. In total, 25 commitments were made, including to notify the companies two months before the contract expires or to grant them payment facilities.

In the event of a dispute, companies with fewer than ten employees or with less than two million euros in turnover can appeal to the national energy broker. In addition to these figures, they can seize the mediator of the companies, or directly the mediator of Engie or EDF if the dispute is with one of these two suppliers.

Publication of a reference price for electricity

The Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) will soon publish an electricity reference price for various professional consumer profiles, also forthcoming. This will allow them to compare the reference price with the price offered by a supplier before committing.

Guaranteed by the state with electricity suppliers

The financial law for 2023 requires the state to provide a guarantee to reduce the risk of non-compliance of companies with their energy supplier. This will be a counter-guarantee of the bank guarantees required at the time of entering into energy supply contracts in order to reinsure these contracts covered by a credit insurer. The goal is to reduce suppliers’ requirements in terms of guarantees and security deposits at the time of signing contracts.

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