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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 HU-2021-50/2161 – measures in Hungary

Utility bill reduction for SMEs

Kisvállalkozói rezsicsökkentés

Country Hungary , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 05 December 2021 – 30 June 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Nóra Krokovay (KOPINT-Tárki) and Eurofound
Measure added 12 January 2022 (updated 06 September 2022)

Background information

Under government decree 670/2021. (XII. 2.) on changes to the Electricity Act in light of the pandemic emergency, SMEs will be able to buy electricity at a preferential rate. Household electricity customers were already in the scheme (from 1 January 2013) offering lower utility rates even before the COVID-19 outbreak, but now a select group of SMEs can join this preferential circle of electricity buyers.

Content of measure

Companies with annual net revenue of HUF 4 billion (€11.11 million) or less and no more than 10 employees are eligible for the utility cost cut, which only applies to electricity and for companies registered before 22 November 2021. The SMEs must file a request to make use of the measure, which will be available “as long as the prices justify it,” according to the government, but the decree ordering the preferential price band specifies that its effect is until the end of the pandemic emergency, currently 30 June 2022.

The proposal for the measure had noted that the targeted group of companies mainly operate in fields where it is not possible to transfer the burden of higher energy prices to their customers. This situation means that these companies are losing position in profitability and competitiveness, they can only operate at a loss and would soon go bankrupt if the government did not interfere.

Use of measure

The measure could help 120,000 SMEs, including 104,000 agricultural and 3,100 food processing enterprises, and it could prevent the bankruptcy of about 21,000 struggling SMEs, according to government sources.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
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 No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

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


No known involvement of social partners.

Views and reactions

Social partners did not express any views on this measure.


  • 19 November 2021: Energy crisis: 21000 SME bankruptcies to be prevented (
  • 19 December 2021: Govt decree 670/2021


Eurofound (2022), Utility bill reduction for SMEs, measure HU-2021-50/2161 (measures in Hungary), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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