companies are afraid of “hit”

“I am very worried. I really don’t know how I’m going to get out of this. » On July 15, this manager of an SME with six employees, in the aeronautical sector, near Toulouse, was stunned to discover the latest letter from EDF. In that letter, the energy company provides him with new tariffs which, if he disputes them, he can refuse after a short notice. “I extrapolated without including taxes – which are around 30% – and came up with a price increase of 51% for an average consumption of 43,000 kilovolt-amps [kVA] »states the one who wishes to remain anonymous because his activity is sensitive.

Like 1.5 million SMEs, the company benefits from a regulated tariff. He has subscribed to the green tariff since 2012, which expires on the 1stthis one October. Distraught by the announced price increases, the entrepreneur sees a threat to the survival of his business. “I have to keep the parts in the bath at a certain temperature, otherwise they get damaged, production lines are blocked”, he was alarmed.

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If this little boss is worried, for others the calculation looks even scarier. “The price of our electricity is fixed until the end of the year. For 2023, we don’t know how many of our kilowatt hours we will buy, but there is already mention of doubling”advances Jean-Yves Millet, who manages a large area Near Tulle, in Corrèze.

This store made a profit of €100,000 for the financial year ending in June, with electricity costs reaching €150,000: if this bill is multiplied by two, [il va] be in the red”. “A simple solution, He said, it’s raising prices and cutting staff. This is not my wish, far from it. » And let me admit: “I talked to my wife about it this weekend, I don’t know where we’re going…”

Fixed rate contracts that renew

Horrified bosses, Olivier Ducatillion, president of the Textile Industries Union, come across them every day: “A small weaving company in eastern France with a turnover of 10 million euros signed a contract in July reducing its electricity bill from 250,000 to 850,000 euros per year. Another one in the north, more important, its annual budget jumped from 1.5 million euros to 10 million euros”, he says. According to him, gas, which at the end of 2021 represented 15 percent of the cost price of the textile finishing sector (dyeing, finishing works), weighed about 40 to 45 percent in March.

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