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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure FR-2022-25/2395 Updated – measures in France

Subsidy for companies that are large consumers of gas and electricity

Aide aux entreprises grandes consommatrices de gaz et d’électricité

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 15 June 2022 – 31 December 2023
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Responses to inflation
– Support for energy bills
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 20 May 2022 (updated 28 February 2023)

Background information

Supporting businesses whose gas and electricity costs represent a high proportion of their expenses. This is the objective of the aid set up by the Government as part of the economic and social resilience plan.

The aim of this aid is to mitigate the effects of the energy crisis, to support the competitiveness of companies and to avoid production stoppages at the sites that consume the most gas and electricity, particularly those providing essential production. It is a temporary, targeted and capped emergency aid.

Content of measure

The scheme targets companies whose gas and electricity purchases amounted to at least 3% of their turnover in 2021 and which experience a doubling of their unit cost of electricity or gas purchases (in euros/MWh).

The aid compensates for a share of the eligible costs, i.e. the additional costs of gas or electricity compared to 2021 beyond this doubling. Depending on the company's situation, the aid will be granted in the following ways:

  • aid equal to 30% of the eligible costs, with a ceiling of €2 million, for companies whose gross operating surplus (GOS) falls by 30% compared to 2021.
  • aid equal to 50% of eligible costs, with a ceiling of €25 million, for firms with a negative EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) and losses of up to twice the eligible costs. The aid is limited to 80% of the amount of losses.
  • aid equal to 70% of eligible costs, with a ceiling of €50 million, for companies which meet the same criteria as above and which operate in one of the sectors most exposed to international competition. The aid is limited to 80% of the amount of these losses.

For companies which are part of a group, the amount of the aid ceilings will be assessed at group level. Compliance with the eligibility criteria relating to electricity and gas expenditure, EBITDA and eligible costs will be verified and calculated by a trusted third party (accountant or auditor).

The scheme will open in the second half of June for applications for the first quarterly eligible period March-April-May. An application for the second eligible period June-July-August will be opened later.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

19 November 2022

Since February 2022, gas and electricity prices have risen sharply. In July 2022, as part of the economic and social resilience plan, the Government introduced a grant for the companies that consume the most gas and electricity. The criteria for obtaining this aid have been simplified since 19 November 2022. These will apply from September/October 2022. This aid for the payment of energy bills is extended for the year 2023.

30 August 2022

Initially supposed to stop at the end of August, the support fund for companies that consume a lot of gas and electricity for their activity will be extended until the end of December 2022, said Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire on 30 August. The criteria for access to this three billion euro envelope will also be "simplified" and "lightened", he added. A decree will have to be adopted soon.

Use of measure

Not available yet.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Companies providing essential services
Other businesses
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

Sectoral social partner have been consulted to design the measures (mainly employers' organisations).

Views and reactions

The measures were supported by the main sectoral social partners.

Sources

  • 12 May 2022: Ukraine : une aide aux entreprises grandes consommatrices de gaz et d’électricité (www.economie.gouv.fr)
  • 01 July 2022: Décret n° 2022-967 du 1er juillet 2022 instituant une aide visant à compenser la hausse des coûts d'approvisionnement de gaz naturel et d'électricité des entreprises particulièrement affectées par les conséquences économiques et financières de la guerre en Ukraine (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 23 September 2022: Décret n° 2022-1250 du 23 septembre 2022 modifiant le décret n° 2022-967 du 1er juillet 2022 instituant une aide visant à compenser la hausse des coûts d'approvisionnement de gaz naturel et d'électricité des entreprises particulièrement affectées par les conséquences économiques et financières de la guerre en Ukraine (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 30 September 2022: Décret n° 2022-1279 du 30 septembre 2022 modifiant le décret n° 2022-967 du 1er juillet 2022 instituant une aide visant à compenser la hausse des coûts d'approvisionnement de gaz naturel et d'électricité des entreprises particulièrement affectées par les conséquences économiques et financières de la guerre en Ukraine (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 16 December 2022: Décret n° 2022-1575 du 16 décembre 2022 modifiant le décret n° 2022-967 du 1er juillet 2022 instituant une aide visant à compenser la hausse des coûts d'approvisionnement de gaz naturel et d'électricité des entreprises particulièrement affectées par les conséquences économiques et financières de la guerre en Ukraine (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 02 February 2023: Aide « gaz et électricité » : simplification et prolongation jusqu'à fin 2023 (entreprendre.service-public.fr)

Citation

Eurofound (2022), Subsidy for companies that are large consumers of gas and electricity, measure FR-2022-25/2395 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/FR-2022-25_2395.html

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.