In 2023, VSEs (less than ten employees) will pay a maximum of 280 euros per megawatt hour of electricity on average over the year, according to a government announcement on Friday. This is much more than the historic price, rather around 50 euros, but less than the 400 to 1.000 euros reached during the second half of 2022, which will avoid catastrophic increases for bakers, restaurateurs and other artisans.
"For condominiums or lessors who have taken out too expensive electricity or gas subscriptions, well there is work being carried out with energy companies as it is also carried out for companies, for bakers", said Olivier Klein on Radio J Sunday.
"It's the same principle, we will work with the energy companies so that they have prices that are not unbearable for the condominiums, for the lessors."
Households have been covered since last winter by what the government calls a gas and electricity tariff shield, capped tariffs, which have been increased by 15% in 2023.
This tariff shield initially included many holes, for example for social housing or condominiums which could not benefit from it. Specific aid has been added during 2022 and until December 31 to fill the last 1 to 2% of collective contracts not covered by the tariff shield.
There is no longer "any hole in the racket" for households, assured the minister on Sunday, referring to collective electric heating or the charges for common areas.
According to him, the shields will cover the year 2023, and will be retroactive: "Where there have been excessive calls for charges, there will be regularizations of charges".
For condominiums, a problem was that the trustee of the building or the social landlord had to claim the aid a posteriori and that this public aid was de facto capped.
If a guaranteed rate were adopted for condominiums in 2023, on the model of VSEs, this would go further than the current system, because it would make it possible to compensate more for the contracts signed in recent months at very high rates.
And SMEs? ask the professional unions
After the government's announcement of a guaranteed electricity rate in 2023 for craftsmen, several professional organizations called for an extension to SMEs on Saturday.
The device announced on Friday provides that around 600.000 very small businesses (TPE) which consume a lot of electricity, because they heat or cool a lot, and cannot subscribe to the regulated household tariff, do not pay more than 280 euros per average megawatt hour this year.
"This is excellent news," rejoiced Jean-Eudes du Mesnil, secretary general of the Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (CPME), interviewed by AFP on Saturday.
"We can always consider that the price remains too high, but it gives real visibility to these companies," he added.
The government wants suppliers, such as EDF, Engie and TotalEnergies, to apply this tariff to very small companies (fewer than ten employees) which had signed contracts at the worst time, when energy prices were historically high, between the July 1 and December 31, 2022.
However, adds Jean-Eudes du Mesnil, "we would have liked all SMEs to be able to benefit from this capped tariff". The risk is to see a distortion of competition between large VSEs and small SMEs which carry out the same activity, according to him.
President of the main employers' union for the hotel and catering industry, Umih, chef Thierry Marx for his part affirmed that "this progress does not take into account all of our establishments".
“We ask that all our restaurants and all our hotels be able to benefit from this regulated rate,” he wrote in an open letter to the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire published Friday evening on the website of the daily Le Parisien.
The chef still "welcomes" the guaranteed price announced on Friday.
SMEs already have access to aid to cope with the recent surge in energy prices, such as the electricity shock absorber, but these measures only cover part of the additional cost.