how the government wants to help them with the energy crisis

how the government wants to help them with the energy crisis

A “price corridor” will be set up to cushion the energy bill of SMEs, while case-by-case targeting will be implemented for large companies.

Emmanuel Macron promised Wednesday evening a “reasonable price” of electricity for businesses. Guest this Thursday morning on the set of BFM Business, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, detailed the future aid that will be implemented to help French companies deal with the energy crisis. Ten billion euros are put on the table by the government.

“There are 10 billion euros to be divided between the baker” and “the very large steel industry”, declared Bruno Le Maire. For this, “we separate the different types of companies, because each is in a very different situation”. VSEs, which have less than ten employees and make less than two million euros in turnover, will continue “to benefit from a regulated tariff, exactly like households”, therefore “no more than 15% increase ” in 2023, said the minister.

Price Corridor

For SMEs with up to 250 employees (and VSEs excluded from the mechanism for limiting the price increase to 15%), a “specific device” of “several billion euros” will be put in place to amortize the bill of electricity. For an SME, the regulated rate today represents “about half of the bill” and “we don’t touch that”, he explained. In addition, “there remains 50% of the bill which is exposed to the market, with prices which can reach 800, 1000, 1200 euros per megawatt”.

“We will take half of this 50%, 25%, which we will put in a price corridor, so as to reduce the bill” and give “visibility”, declared Bruno Le Maire. “The floor has been set at 325 euros per megawatt”, while the ceiling will be set during the day.

There remain medium-sized companies (ETI) with up to 5,000 employees and very large companies. “It was either giving the same help to everyone at the risk of helping too much those who don’t really need it and not helping enough those who really need it, [soit] target. We have made the choice of targeting, with a counter that will be simplified and massive for those who really need it among ETIs and large companies,” said Bruno Le Maire.

“Too complicated” criteria

The counter already in place “did not work at all” because “the criteria were too complicated”, he acknowledged, referring to discussions with the European Commission to review these criteria. “We won our case”, even if “final confirmation” is still needed, he said. To be eligible, the bill must have increased by 50%, and no longer have doubled. Energy, too, must represent 3% of turnover: this calculation will take as a reference the end of 2022 and no longer 2021.

Bruno Le Maire also mentions the doubling of the aid ceilings to 4.50 and 100 million euros. In addition, large companies will be able to request a deposit at this counter by assessing the amount they should receive. But, in case of overpayment, it will be necessary to reimburse.

Jeremy Bruno BFMTV journalist