Energy price rises: Extension and relaxation of the aid scheme for businesses affected

Written on
1 October 2022

Gross operating surplus for gas and electricity (GOE), a new indicator for companies.
According to Decree No. 2022-967 of 1 July 2022, government aid was set up to support “energy-intensive companies” specifically impacted by the consequences of the war in Ukraine, and in particular by the increase in the price of gas and electricity.

The scheme, which was initially intended to cover two quarterly periods from March to August 2022, has just been opportunely completed by two decrees issued at the end of September:

1. Extension of the deadline for applying for aid

First, for latecomers, the first Decree 2022-1250 extends the deadline by which aid for the months of March to August 2022 must be applied for.
It is now possible to apply for aid for the first two quarters until 31 December 2022.

2. Extension of the scheme

Article 2 III of Decree 2022-967 provides for its extension until the end of the year 2022 for two further periods September/October, and
November/December.
The form is available on the impots.gouv.fr website, and applications must be submitted electronically on the site within the following deadlines:

– For the months of March to August, until 31 December 2022

– For the months of September and October, between 15 November 2022 and 31 January 2023;

– For the months of November and December, between 16 January and 24 February 2023.

3. Making the system more flexible

The conditions for granting aid have also been relaxed.
To be eligible, companies must meet two cumulative conditions at the time of application:
on the one hand, to have gas and/or electricity expenditure reaching at least 3% of turnover by 2021,
secondly, to have experienced a doubling of the price of gas and/or electricity over the eligible period compared to an average price over the year.

As a reminder, three differentiated schemes have been introduced depending on the situation of the company.

– With regard to the first scheme, and for the period up to August 2022, the aid is granted to undertakings suffering either a fall in the gross operating surplus for gas and electricity (GOS) of 30 % compared with the reference period (GOS for the same three months in 2021 or GOS for 2021 over three months), or having a negative gross operating surplus over the eligible period. The amount of aid is equal to 30% of the eligible costs, up to a maximum of €2 million.

Thus, from the second period onwards, the GE EBITDA can be negative for a single month of the eligible period, and as the 30% threshold is otherwise removed, it is sufficient for the reference GE EBITDA to be higher than the GE EBITDA of the eligible period.

As of the September application, petitioning companies can therefore choose between a GE EBITDA calculated over the entire eligible period compared to the BE EBITDA of the reference period (reduced to two or three months, or by taking the two or three corresponding months in 2021), and a GE EBITDA calculated over a single month of the eligible period, compared to that of the year 2021 (reduced to one month or to that of the same month)

– For the second scheme, the amount of aid is equal to 50% of the eligible costs, up to 80% of the absolute value of the GE EBITDA.

25 million for companies with negative GE EBITDA and where the increase in costs is at least 50% of the absolute value of GE EBITDA. For the first period, the duration remains quarterly, but for the second period it can be monthly, or for the third period, bimonthly. (Decree 2022-967 art. 7 and 8 amended)

– For the latter scheme, the amount of aid is equal to 70% of the eligible costs, up to a limit of 80% of the absolute value of the GE EBITDA. 50 million for companies listed in Annex 1 of the decree, with a negative EBITDA and where the increase in eligible costs amounts to at least 50% of the absolute value of the EBITDA.

To obtain this aid, the application must be accompanied by documentary evidence of the GE EBITDA, in particular a declaration on the company’s honour, a certificate from a trusted third party, general balances, energy bills, calculation sheets for the Gross Operating Surplus and the aid, and a bank statement.

The certificate of the “trusted third party” chartered accountant or auditor mentioned above will make it possible to calculate or verify the GE EBITDA for each period considered (Decree 2022-967 art. 5, II and 8, III). The latter must mention, as from the September aid, the volumes of energy consumed by the company during the equivalent period of 2021, or the period for which the aid is requested (Art. 6 and 9 amended).

TO GO FURTHER :
– Decree 2022-1250 of 23-9-2022: JO 24 text n° 1 Decree 2022-1279 of 30-9-2022: JO 1-10 text n° 6
– Administration FAQ available at the following address: https://www.impots.gouv.fr/sites/default/files/media/cabcom/plan_resilience/gaz_electricite/nid_25612_faq_aide_gaz_et_electricite.pdf
– Eligibility check by simulator: choice between an eligible period and a month (https://www.impots.gouv.fr/simulateur-aide-gaz-electricite)

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