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Capping energy prices for large enterprises in April: another amendment and first-time assessment of financial benefits

With effect from 1 April 2023, the fourth amendment to the government decree on the determination of electricity and gas prices in an extraordinary market situation and on the determination of the related maximum permissible customer's financial benefit was published in the Collection of Laws. At the beginning of March, the European Commission also approved a new Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, specifying the limits of public aid. If you already signed up for the capping of energy prices during the first quarter of this year, then you will have to make the relevant assessment in April and file a report on the assessment of excess financial benefits for the first quarter.

The amendment to the decree introduces several changes:

  1. Large enterprises in categories C, D or E will have to meet the condition of adjusted EBITDA, which for 2023 may not be higher than 70% of the value for 2021. Where EBITDA was negative in 2021, a large enterprise may not report a positive EBITDA balance in 2023.
  2. The template of the report on the assessment of excess financial benefits was modified (Annex No. 13).
  3. If a large enterprise is part of a group of enterprises, only one member of the group may complete and submit the information in Part B of the report on its behalf, upon agreement. Other members shall file their reports only on their own behalf.
  4. Large enterprises shall submit the reports in electronic form through the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s information system. We do not currently know the final form of the report in the information system, but it should be prepared and launched in the system by 20 April 2023.

In addition to changes in local legislation, changes at the EU level must also be considered. In the new Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, the European Commission clarifies the undertakings for whom the public aid thresholds shall be monitored. This is good news for large enterprises, as public aid will only be assessed per an undertaking and a member state; however, for the purposes of the Framework, an undertaking does not mean only a single large enterprise but the entire corporate group where a group of related enterprises is concerned.

Report on the assessment of financial benefit

Large enterprises that signed up for the capping of energy prices during the first quarter have until 25 April 2023 to assess the financial benefits obtained for that quarter. If a large enterprise chooses the category of financial benefit B to E, it will also have to calculate eligible costs and, where appropriate, fulfil other conditions. Subsequently, it will have to prepare a report on the assessment of excess financial benefits, which must be submitted through the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s information system from 20 to 30 April 2023. According to the amendment to the decree, large enterprises that were in the capping regime in the first quarter of the year but did not purchase electricity or gas at the set/capped price will not have to submit the report.

If a large enterprise exceeds the threshold for individual categories in the first quarter and thus obtains an excess financial benefit, it will be obliged to pay it back to the state by 30 June 2023. The relevant bank account has not yet been published by the ministry.

Next steps to draw the benefits of price capping

If a large enterprise wants to continue to apply capped energy prices, it must resubmit the declaration to its supplier according to Annex No. 10 (for electricity) or Annex No. 11 (for gas) by 30 April 2023. We recommend filing the declaration even if you are not currently benefiting from capped prices.

Should you be interested, we will be happy to discuss the capping of energy prices with you and assist you with the calculation of eligible costs and the preparation of inputs for the report.