Inflation, which is not calming down, and the tense winter ahead are giving the “electricity counter” a second life.
While it was to stop at the end of 2022, the system planned to help small businesses pay their bills will finally be extended in 2023, said Thursday the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire.
In addition to the entry into force next year of the "electricity shock absorber", another system where the State will bear part of the energy expenses of companies, "we will maintain the counter on January 1, 2023 to alleviate a little more the invoice of the craftsmen”, declared the number two of the government on RMC.
The two combined devices will represent a "reduction of the electricity bill" which could go up to 35% of it, according to the minister, who was questioned about the situation of certain craftsmen (bakers, butchers) strangled by the increase energy prices observed since the start of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine in February.
Taking the example of an entrepreneur whose electricity bill would amount to 4,000 euros, Bruno Le Maire assured that the latter would in reality only have 2,600 euros to pay if he resorted to government measures.
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Initially created as part of the resilience plan in March, the “electricity counter” has been overhauled and simplified several times in recent months in the face of criticism from companies who considered its operation complex.
It was originally intended to remain next year only for medium-sized companies and large companies.
The electricity buffer for 2023 was announced in October by the government.
It primarily targets small and medium-sized businesses and certain very small businesses that do not benefit from the regulated sales tariff.
Asked by a baker from Doubs who asked him how to get “immediate help” and warned him of a “hecatomb” to come among the artisans of his region, Bruno Le Maire wanted to be reassuring.
“There will be no hecatomb, I guarantee it.
We are here to protect the bakers and we will do whatever is necessary to help them get through the winter months,” he said.
Utilities "send invoices to people who do not correspond to what they are going to have to pay, obviously that creates concern", accused the minister.
To allay fears, “I ask energy companies to include the amount of the shock absorber (electricity) on the invoice.
That they really manage to tell craftsmen, entrepreneurs and merchants what they will have to pay”.
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