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-2022-32/2781 – Updated – measures in Hungary
|Country||Hungary , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 August 2022 – 30 April 2023|
|Context||War in Ukraine|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Responses to inflation
– Support for energy bills
|Author||Nóra Krokovay (KOPINT-Tárki) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||29 August 2022 (updated 27 February 2023)|
Small and medium-sized companies (with a revenue of less than HUF 4 billion a year and 10 or fewer employees) received subsidised energy prices in a COVID-19 related measure from December 2021 to June 2022 (see case [HU-2021-50/2161] (https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/HU-2021-50/2161)). As of 1 August 2022, a smaller circle of companies, microcompanies with revenue of less than HUF 800 million a year or about €2m and 10 or fewer employees will be included in the measure of energy price caps for microcompanies under government decree 217/2022.
The subsidised lower energy prices will be available for microcompanies up to an annual consumption level of 4,606 kilowatt hour (kWh) for electricity and 1,489 m3 for gas. (On August 23 this limit was changed to 54,810 megajoule (MJ) per year to account for differences in heating value).
Companies with registered metres for small consumption (up to 20 m3/hour capacity for gas and 3x63A output for electricity) are eligible. Above these limits a market-based price will apply. Local governments and operators of social institutions will only receive the subsidised price after their clients’ consumption. Business consumers who were earlier in the subsidised scheme started in 2021, but no longer qualify must make a statement attesting this to their energy provider by 1 July 2022.
The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.
|13 December 2022||
The utility price cap scheme for microcompanies was extended by government decree 217/2022 until 30 April 2023 (from 31 December 2022).
About 100,000 microcompanies are estimated to be included in the measure according to government sources (portfolio.hu).
|Does not apply to workers||
One person or microenterprises
|Does not apply to citizens|
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 was reported.
The National Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers (VOSZ) Secretary General László Perlusz told the press that earlier 30,000-40,000 SMEs were supported by lower energy prices, and for those who are no longer benefitting from the measure costs will rise up to seven-fold. Only small companies that are not manufacturers can make use of the low threshold set for the subsidised price, he said (penzcentrum.hu). "Catering, tourism, but also retail will suffer and really, all sectors will be affected. Energy efficiency investments are needed for companies to survive, but these could take years," he told portfolio.hu. The Hungarian Caterers’ Association said more jobs could be lost in the industry due to the utility price cap cut than due to COVID-19 if no help arrives from the government, hvg.hu reports.
Eurofound (2022), Utility price cap for microcompanies, measure HU-2022-32/2781 (measures in Hungary), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/HU-2022-32_2781.html
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