Support systems for paying energy bills for 2024

Bruno Le MaireMinister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, Agnès Pannier-RunacherMinister for Energy Transformation a Olivia Gregoirethe Minister’s Plenipotentiary for Small and Medium Enterprises, Trade, Crafts and Tourism, on Thursday 30 November presented a plan to support energy consumers for 2024, which also includes businesses.

From the beginning of 2023, prices on the energy markets (gas and electricity) are falling. This trend can be explained by several factors:

  • Reducing tensions in global markets;
  • Maintaining habits of sobriety;
  • The availability of the nuclear fleet is increasing;
  • Introduction of new renewable energies

According to data provided by Bercy, the newly signed contracts are gradually returning to prices lower than the implementation of state support measures.

This is why the exit from the tariff shield for electricity is underway and why the end of the shield for gas was recorded in mid-2023.

Only, here it is: contracts consumer engagement (individuals and professionals) at high prices, will also be valid for next year. These were supported by public authorities through a buffer, so that their activities would not be jeopardized. More than 750,000 professional subscribers have used the system.

Help pay your bills in 2024

To help consumers meet their bills in 2024, here are the devices deployed :

• For small professional consumers of very small business equivalent (VSE) size, Regardless of their status (including small associations and local authorities), the 280 EUR/MWh price cap system will be extended in 2024.

It will be extended to small professional consumers with a contracted power of less than 36 kVA, for all contracts signed by June 30, 2023.

• For professional consumers who do not qualify for the 280 EUR/MWh guarantee and are smaller or equivalent to SMEsregardless of their status, who signed a contract before June 30, 2023 and still valid in 2024, the electric silencer will be retained with the development of parameters so that it can better protect high-priced contracts:

  • Invoice coverage 75% compared to 50% in 2023;
  • The unit quantity of the damper will no longer be limited above an electricity price of EUR 500/MWh;
  • The trigger threshold for the energy part of the bill increased to 250 EUR/MWh compared to 180 EUR/MWh in 2023;

• For domestic consumers of electricitywho have the option to terminate their individual contract at any time and free of charge, the government maintains an individual price shield limiting the increase in electricity to +10%.

• For households residing in collective structures (HLM, co-ownership, etc.) heated by electricity or gas and who signed a very high fixed price contract during the crisis, the government will continue to help them further with joint gas and electricity shields.

Specifically : above the level of regulated electricity rates (TRVe) of 2024 or the level of the gas shield as determined for the first half of 2023, increased by 30%, 75% of the bill will be covered by the state.

Please note that local authorities and structures whose income comes mainly from public funding will be able to use electricity in 2024 without size restrictions, as in 2023.

For buffers, the cumulative aid cap remains at €2.25 million for each group leader in 2023 and 2024. As in 2023, this cap will not apply to local authorities and their groups.

Restoration of the help desk for companies

The government also announces an extension in 2024 of a targeted window for professional consumers who are not eligible for a buffer and which fall into the category of medium-sized companies (ETI), “subject to verification of the eligibility conditions for support by the European Commission”.

What are the eligibility conditions?

To be eligible, companies must meet the following conditions:

  • Be “energy intensive”as in the case of bakers (whose energy expenditure in 2024 represents more than 3% of turnover in 2021);
  • Justify the negative or declining gross operating surplus compared to 2021 and have signed electricity contracts until June 30, 2023.

→ If you are eligible: the state will take over 75% of the electricity bill above €300/MWh (including shipping and taxes without VAT), within the aid limit of EUR 2.25 million at group level and other aid ceilings applicable over the counter.

Note: the ticket window will no longer be combined with the silencer.

What are the procedures?

Customers who benefited from them in 2024 will not need to take any action to take advantage of the shock absorber or price cap in 2024, the support will be applied automatically by the supplier unless there is a change in the situation that needs to be reported to them.

For entities that would be eligible and would not benefit from these schemes in 2023, a certificate of eligibility must be sent to the electricity supplier (will be available on your supplier’s website).

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