Electricity prices for SMEs capped

An electricity substation.
Slovenian SMEs to benefit from an electricity price cap in the first half of 2023.

After capping electricity and gas prices for the benefit of households, protected consumers and public institutions, the government has now imposed a price cap on electricity supplied to micro, small and medium-sized companies.

Under a regulation adopted by the government on 30 December, the cap will be in force for six months starting from 1 January.

The maximum retail electricity prices are capped at €217 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for the peak rate, €155.5 for the off-peak rate and €195, excluding VAT, for the flat rate.

The volume of electricity sold by the supplier at the limited prices should not exceed 90% of the power consumed by the customer in the first half of 2021.

Suppliers will not be allowed to suspend supply to the consumers concerned and will need to provide them with an offer on request and conclude a contract on that basis. This does not affect the consumer’s right to switch the supplier.

The cap will be in force regardless of potential contracts on the supply in 2023 that might have already been signed. It will not be valid for consumers who have signed supply contracts for 2023 at prices below the caps.

The measure comes in response to demands by small businesses and entrepreneurs in particular for a price cap to help SMEs as the largest sector of the Slovenian economy cope with the high energy costs.

The government capped electricity and gas prices for households, small commercial consumers and some protected consumers such as schools and hospitals for a year from 1 September.

Earlier this month it limited electricity and gas prices supplied to public institutions, utilities, agencies and funds, for municipalities and some social care services and family-oriented programmes providers that were not covered in earlier measures.

The institutions covered include the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, cultural institutions, libraries, sports halls, higher education institutions, hospices, education and socialising centres, therapy centres and associations of persons with disabilities.

The maximum retail electricity price supplied to those institutions next year is capped at €207 per MWh for the peak rate, €148.5 for the off-peak rate and €186, excluding VAT, for the flat rate.

The retail gas price for the eligible institutions is limited at €95 per MWh.

The caps for those institutions apply throughout 2023 and for the entire amounts supplied.

Companies have or will have received reimbursements for energy costs in this year. Next year they will be eligible for €1.2 billion in aid in the form of subsidies for high prices of electricity, gas and steam, a state subsidy scheme for furlough and part-time work, and liquidity loans.