Govt confirms EUR 106m energy voucher scheme, lower excise duties and network fee cuts

Ljubljana – The government has confirmed a EUR 200 million package of aid for households and companies to mitigate energy-price hikes. An EUR 106 million energy voucher scheme for households will be coupled with aid for companies and farmers worth EUR 70 million, lower network fees for electricity, and lower excise duties on heating oil and petrol.

The electricity network fee will be waived for three months starting on 1 February, with excise duties on electricity, heating oil and petrol being cut to the lowest permissible level, Prime Minister Janez Janša told the press after Saturday’s government session.

Electricity excise will be halved, whereas fuel excise duties will be reduced by about two cents per litre for regular petrol, five cents for diesel, eight cents for heating oil and one cent per cubic metre of natural gas.

As a result of these waivers and cuts, Janša estimates electricity bills will go down by 30-35%.

Energy vouchers, worth EUR 150, will be available to about 710,000 beneficiaries, including recipients of income support and welfare, recipients of child support with income of up to EUR 680 per person, pensioners with under EUR 1,000 in pensions, the disabled, and large families. Families with four or more children will get an extra EUR 50 on top.

One-off aid will be available to an estimated 17,500 companies and 41,000 farms. The payments will depend on company or farm size and energy intensity, according to Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek.

Among companies, those with at least five employees and whose energy expenditure accounted for at least 5% of revenue in 2019 or at least EUR 10,000 will be eligible.

Companies must apply for aid with the Financial Administration and will receive the money by 20 April.

“We are confident this will help until prices ease off,” Počivalšek said.

The energy vouchers and aid to companies and farms comes in a new bill that must be passed by parliament. The other measures are in the form of direct government decrees.

The aid comes after energy prices have soared in recent months in lockstep with surging global prices.

Companies in particular have for weeks beseeched the government to step in, warning that the current level of prices risked putting many energy-intensive industries out of business.