€40m Aid Package to Cut Companies' Energy Bills

By , 18 Aug 2022, 17:33 PM Business
€40m Aid Package to Cut Companies' Energy Bills Photo: pixabay.com WolfBlur CC-by-0

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STA, 18 August 2022 - The government confirmed on Thursday an aid package under which EUR 40 million will be disbursed to companies this year and next to help them cope with higher energy costs. Three different types of aid will be available, according to Economy Minister Matjaž Han.

EUR 20 million will be available this year and another EUR 20 million through mid-March 2023, in what Minister Han described as merely the first step in efforts to help the corporate sector.

Two types of aid respectively capped at EUR 500,000 and EUR 2 million per beneficiary will be available for the financing of higher energy costs.

This type of aid will cover at least 30% of electricity or gas costs provided that energy prices are at least twice above last year's average. A maximum of 30% of total costs can be covered.

A third type of aid is set aside for energy-intensive companies which will be eligible only if they are operating at a loss. In this case, up to 70% of their costs will be covered.

Companies that have access to regulated gas and energy prices - mostly small and medium-sized enterprises - are not eligible for the scheme, according to the government.

Han said the measure was in line with EU state aid rules and had been cleared by the European Commission. The bill will also be put to the Economic and Social Council, the country's main industrial relations forum.

"We've prepared this measure together with business and I'm glad that we concluded at yesterday's session of the business coordination committee that it represents effective aid to the corporate sector," he said.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) has already welcomed the aid scheme, describing it as "an appropriate measure considering the EU legal framework."

But it also noted that the aid will only suffice for the time being and said it expected additional aid in the autumn.

The aid package "does not address the major unknowns concerning the certainty of gas supplies or the very likely escalation of energy prices for business users next year," it said.

"In order for the economy to work as best as it can, it needs and expects a reliable supply of energy at acceptable prices."

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