Assistance for paying gas and electricity bills in 2023 (01/23)

To support companies affected by rising energy prices, the Government has implemented various assistance mechanisms: tariff shield, cap rate, electricity buffer, gas and electricity bill payment help desk. These aids, as well as their methods, differ according to the size of the company and the challenges it faces. Overview.

Assistance to VSEs

Tariff shield

The price shield introduced at the end of 2021 allowed to limit the increase in electricity bills to 4% in 2022. In 2023, this period was extended, but the maximum price increase for gas was set at 15% from January 2023. , and February 2023 for electricity.

To be eligible for the tariff shield, companies must be eligible all the following conditions:
– having less than 10 employees;
– achieving a turnover of less than 2 million euros;
– having an electricity meter with a capacity of less than 36 KW.

To avail this, the eligible company must approach the energy supplier and send it a sworn statement no later than March 31, 2023, the model of which is available here. The transfer of the certificate can be done in a dematerialized way.

Suppliers should mention the amount of invoice discount benefited by the customer under the scheme under the name “tariff shield”.

Tariff regulated at €280/MWh

Tariff protection is reserved for VSEs, but many VSEs are unable to benefit from this device due to the fact that connected power is less than 36 kilovolt-amperes (kVA).

On January 6 Mayor BrunoThe Minister of Economy and Finance announced that suppliers have agreed to guarantee all VSEs. In 2023, it will pay no more than €280/MW on average for electricity. It should be noted that this is an annual average for summer/winter/off-peak/peak hour rates.

This capped tariff applies to VSEs who renew or subscribe to an electricity supply contract during the second half of 2022 and do not benefit from the tariff protection system. Specifically, these are TPEs with an energy capacity of more than 36 kVA.

To benefit from this tariff, eligible companies must complete an affidavit of compliance to be returned to the electricity supplier.

Assistance to VSEs and SMEs

Electric shock absorber

The electric dumper came into effect on January 1, 2023 and runs until December 31, 2023.
SMEs, i.e. companies with less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than 50 million euros, can benefit from this system, as well as very small enterprises (those with a power generation of more than 36 kVA) that cannot benefit from the tariff shield. These VSEs can therefore combine a regulated tariff with an electricity buffer and assistance with paying gas and electricity bills.

The state will pay 50% of the amount of electricity consumed, the difference between the contract energy price and 180 €/MWh (ie 0.18 €/kWh). From the 50% covered, the amortization amount paid cannot exceed 320 EUR/MW (ie 0.32 EUR/kWh). This means that when the average price of electricity exceeds the threshold of €500/MWh (€0.5/kWh), the amount of the paid buffer is fixed.

The maximum reduction in unit price will be €160/MWh (or €0.16/kWh) on total consumption (500-180) × 50%.

You can estimate the impact of the electric shock absorber on your bill at:

Gas and electricity bill payment help desk

If your company is a VSE or SME eligible for the electricity buffer scheme and still meets the eligibility criteria for the electricity and gas bill payment helpdesk after taking into account the electricity buffer benefit, you can make a request. for help. If energy costs are 3% of your company’s turnover in 2021 after taking into account the amortizer, your company is eligible for this window.

For example, if your company applies for aid for September/October 2022, its energy costs during this period must be more than 3% of its turnover for September/October 2021.

Your electricity bill must increase by more than 50% compared to the price before you can receive a discount through an electricity buffer.
Average pay in 2021.
As of January 16, assistance is open for November and December 2022.

It is possible to combine the electricity buffer and the payment assistance meter, which allows you to cover about 40% of the bill.

Request a spread of your energy bills

Energy suppliers have agreed to offer payment options to VSEs and SMEs experiencing cash flow difficulties. Utilities may offer a spread of bills for the first months of the year over several months.

Currently, this event is possible until the summer.

To take advantage of this, your company should approach the energy supplier.

Ask for tax and social security payments to be deferred

VSEs and SMEs can request a deferral of taxes and social security contributions to ease cash flow. This one-time event is available at the request of companies.

These deferrals do not apply to VAT, additional taxes and withholding tax.

With regard to social security contributions, you can request a payment delay from Urssaf. This may apply to current contributions and rescheduling of the current Covid clearance plan.


Other energy related fact sheets

Regulated tariff of €280 per MWh for VSEs only
The government is putting pressure on energy suppliers
Energy crisis: possibility of postponement of social and tax payments
Third-order decree: you must declare your gas and electricity consumption
Energy suppliers sign a charter with Bercy to help consumers and businesses
Rising energy costs: which means should be considered?
Business support in the energy crisis
Maintenance of help desk for payment of electricity bills in 2023
Assistance in paying gas and electricity bills

Updated: January 2023

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