Faced with the energy crisis, many craftsmen are going out of business.

For the biggest consumers, such as bakers or certain butchers, the situation is critical.

Energy prices on the markets have increased from 2021, with the general recovery of the economy after the Covid-19 pandemic.

This classic supply/demand tension worsened in 2022 with the war in Ukraine and the desire to get rid of Russian gas, which covered 40% of needs in Europe.

For households, thanks to the tariff shield and the freezing of the regulated tariff introduced by the government, the increase was not immediate.

But for traders, the backlash was immediate.

Are some traders suffering more than others?

Bakers are one of the professions most exposed to soaring energy prices: 80% are not eligible for the tariff shield, according to their confederation.

About 40% of butchers and delicatessens are concerned, especially in the provinces where they have enough space to have a manufacturing laboratory, with ovens, mincers, roasters and cold rooms, according to their confederation.

Are state aids automatic?

There are two different aids.

Help with paying electricity and gas bills can be requested on the tax website.

The energy bill must exceed 3% of the turnover and it must be proven that it has doubled.

Since January 1, an "electricity shock absorber" has been paid almost automatically to small and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 250 employees and less than 50 million euros in turnover.

The aid, paid on condition that the increase in the energy bill reaches at least 50%, corresponds to around 20% of the total bill, according to Bercy.

Are these aids sufficient?

The cash aid announced on Tuesday, such as the staggering of the payment of Urssaf contributions, taxes or the energy bill, are "measurements", castigates Jean-François Guilhard, president of the confederation of butchery, charcuterie, caterers (CFBCT).

Several bakers expect bills to be multiplied by at least two from January, and will not be able to pass on this additional cost to their selling prices.

Part of the profession plans to demonstrate on January 23, in Paris.

Should I change contracts or suppliers?

Professionals who had signed a fixed price contract remain protected until the end of this contract, where they will be supposed to compete.

Some, using electricity with a power of less than 36 kVA, are entitled to the regulated electricity tariff, provided they achieve less than 2 million euros in annual turnover.

In the event of a “prohibitive” increase, bakers will be able to terminate their contract free of charge, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, announced on Tuesday.


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  • Economy

  • Bakery

  • Butcher's shop

  • Bruno the Mayor

  • Consumption