Keeping the lights on, the energy cap and the TEK scheme
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has thrown international relations into unprecedented turmoil. The West is punishing Russia for its aggression by imposing sanctions and rapidly reducing economic ties.
The turmoil has caused significant changes in the global economy. As an entrepreneur, it is imperative to stay awake. What was profitable in the past can produce huge losses due to changed conditions and vice versa. In this article, I briefly explain what has changed regarding the energy costs.
In the Netherlands too, this majorly impacted the prices. In 2022, the energy costs rose dramatically, even multiplied for some. So much did prices rise that it was no longer profitable for many business owners to remain open.
The price trend threatened to disrupt society. Hence the government chose to intervene in an unprecedented way. The extent of this intervention cannot yet be determined with certainty. However, large sums of money will certainly be involved. Down the line, it is vital to claim what you are entitled to.
A price cap will apply to small consumers in 2022. Many people do not know that this will be introduced not only for households, but also for businesses with a connection for small consumers. The maximum price for the first 1,200 cubic meters of natural gas will become €1.45/m3 and for the first 2,900 kilowatt-hours 40 cents/kWh. You do not have to apply for the scheme yourself.
For many smaller business owners, such as stores and small restaurants, this measure will provide sufficient relief. Still, saving and paying attention to your supplier’s prices remains important, all consumption above the ceiling, you will have to pay at contract prices.
The TEK grant
However, for many entrepreneurs, including SMEs, the price cap is not valid because they have a connection with large consumers. For SMEs for which energy costs account for a not insignificant part of the turnover, the ‘Tegemoetkoming Energiekosten’ (Energy Cost Support) Scheme has been announced.
This scheme is for companies that meet the EU definition of SMEs and have energy costs ≥ 7% of their turnover. You have to apply to receive this subsidy. Once granted, the state will retrospectively reimburse 50% of the costs to the extent that prices are above the threshold price of €1.19 per m3 of gas and 95 cents per kWh of electricity.
The grant is capped at €160.000,- and expects to take effect in April 2023. At the time of writing, the conditions for granting have not yet been finalized.
Beware of late invoicing for energy
With the rise in energy prices, next to awareness of government support, it has become necessary to study the annual bills of your energy provider carefully. Especially if you have not reported the readings of the meters for a while, or if for some other reason an additional charge is imposed on you, you have to read carefully. Even if you are renting or just leasing and energy costs are part of the lease, extra attention is a requirement at this time.
It is common for energy suppliers not to exercise sufficient care when imposing additional charges. A frequently seen example is that the entire consumption is charged at today’s rates, while the consumption took place over the past few years. Objecting at this point can sometimes save thousands of euros. So a critical eye pays off.
Is the increased cost of energy also a challenge for your business? Would you like advice on how best to guide your company through this tumultuous time? Then call one of our experienced lawyers now. They will be happy to talk to you without any obligation. Together we will see if there is anything we can do for you.