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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

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-2023-1/3104 – measures in France

Limiting the price of electricity to €280/MW

Limitation du prix de l'électricité à 280 € / MW

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 January 2023 – 31 December 2023
Context War in Ukraine, Cost of Living Crisis
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial) or damage compensation
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 20 February 2023 (updated 25 July 2023)

Background information

On 6 January 2023, the government secured a guarantee from electricity suppliers that all very small companies would not pay more than €280/MWh on average for electricity in 2023. This aid is available to very small companies that have renewed their electricity supply contract in the second half of 2022 and that do not benefit from the regulated sales rate (a rate set by the State). It has also maintain a "tariff shield" and created an "electricity cushion".

Content of measure

In order to benefit from the €280 cap, the business owner must complete a certificate stating that they wish to renegotiate their electricity contract. This form must then be returned to the electricity supplier. This guaranteed tariff is applicable from the January 2023 invoice and for the whole of 2023. Other schemes have been put in place to help very small businesses:

The Tariff Shield

The Tariff Shield (see related case in the database) is a scheme designed to limit the rise in electricity prices to 4% in 2022, which applies also for citizen. To benefit from the tariff shield on energy bills in 2022, the company must have:

  • less than 10 employees
  • a turnover of less than €2 million
  • an electricity meter with a capacity of less than 36 kVA.

The tariff shield was modified in 2023 to limit the increase in electricity prices to 15% from 1 February 2023. This cap prevents a 120% increase in energy bills for businesses. For electricity, it has been extended until 31 December 2023 (and ended for gas in June 2023).

Electricity cushion

The electricity cushion came into force on 1 January 2023. It protects companies that have signed higher energy contracts, with a higher unit aid ceiling. This ceiling is defined by an indicator on the invoices. If the company has a unit price for the energy portion of €350/MWh (€0.35/kWh), the electricity buffer will cover around 20% of the total electricity bill. Companies are eligible under certain conditions:

  • be a very small business or SME with fewer than 250 employees
  • be a company that is not eligible for the Tariff Shield
  • Have an electricity meter with a capacity of more than 36 kVA

Use of measure

No data.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Solo-self-employed
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


No involvement.

Views and reactions

No information.



Eurofound (2023), Limiting the price of electricity to €280/MW, measure FR-2023-1/3104 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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