Very small businesses (TPE), that is to say those which employ less than ten employees and achieve less than two million euros in annual turnover - the two criteria are cumulative -, are for the most part eligible. at the regulated sales price for gas and electricity.
Of the 2,1 million VSEs, 1,5 million companies are thus guaranteed to see the increase in their energy bill capped at 15% in 2023 in accordance with the new tariff shield.
There remain 600.000 VSEs not eligible for regulated tariffs because of the power of their electricity meter (greater than 36 kilovolt-amperes), such as certain bakers and craftsmen.
These companies can benefit from a guaranteed rate on their electricity bill, set at an average level of 280 euros per megawatt hour.
But this tariff, which entered into force on January 1, 2023, is only reserved for companies that renewed their electricity contract between July 1 and December 31, 2022, a semester during which prices soared on the energy market.
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which employ between 10 and 249 people and whose turnover is less than 50 million, the government launched an "electricity damper" in the fall of 2022.
In concrete terms, it benefits SMEs to whom electricity is billed at a price of between 180 and 500 euros per megawatt hour.
According to the estimates of the executive, this device relieves entrepreneurs of 15 to 20% of their electricity bill, which the State pays for.
The electricity buffer also benefits VSEs not eligible for the regulated tariff.
Finally, companies with less than 250 employees can ask the tax authorities and Urssaf to defer the payment of their taxes and social security contributions.
For companies with 250 or more employees
The government provides for a single “counter” system for medium-sized companies (ETI, 250 to 4.999 employees and less than 1,5 billion in annual turnover) and large companies (5.000 employees and more).
This counter, also open to VSEs and SMEs, allows companies to receive up to 4 million euros in aid for the payment of their gas and electricity bills.
However, they must meet two conditions to be eligible.
On the one hand, their energy bill must have increased by at least 50% between the year 2021 and the period for which the company is applying for aid (set at two months by the government, November-December 2022 for example).
On the other hand, the energy bill for the two months for which the company is applying for aid must represent more than 3% of the turnover achieved over the same period of the year in 2021 (November-December 2021 therefore, if the request concerns the months of November and December 2022).
There remain "energy-intensive" companies, which are particularly vulnerable due to their high consumption of gas and/or electricity.
For them, the government has also provided a one-stop system, with aid envelopes capped at 50 or 150 million euros. The eligibility criteria are quite similar to those of the other window but a little more extensive, taking into account the company's gross operating surplus.
In case of difficulties
To navigate the maze of aid, entrepreneurs can contact a dedicated adviser in each department, whose contact details are listed by the Ministry of the Economy.
Small businesses (50 to 400 employees) most in difficulty can also contact a Commissioner for Restructuring and Prevention of Business Difficulties (CRP), each region having one.
The largest companies are invited to turn to the Interministerial Committee for Industrial Restructuring, which can be contacted at the email address CIRI@dgtresor.gouv.fr.