AFP, Posted on Wednesday, October 05, 2022 at 12:13 pm.
The state will facilitate the signing of gas and electricity contracts for companies by providing its guarantees, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday after receiving energy suppliers.
In return, the latter will undertake to “make at least one commercial offer to any addressable professional consumer who requests it”, according to the charter signed by the energy companies.
“The state will introduce a state guarantee for bank guarantees that suppliers request from their customers when signing contracts,” the minister said after a meeting with major energy companies, including EDF, Engie, TotalEnergies and representatives of professional groups. in the sector.
Bruno Le Maire added that this is a “fundamental and completely innovative element in energy contracts”.
“The aim is to reduce the cost of energy and allow more companies to access more offers,” a ministry source told AFP.
“The principle is that the state assumes part of the risk in the event of a client’s default,” the same source added.
Bruno Le Maire said he “understands very well the suppliers who face the risk of default, which is significant”.
The main suppliers were called to the meeting by Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, who last week accused them of “not playing the game” by inflating the prices offered to SMEs.
“We won’t let you down,” the minister promised on Wednesday to companies facing kilowatt-hour prices that are sometimes five to ten times higher.
In the charter, energy suppliers, in particular, promised to notify customers who are not entitled to a regulated electricity tariff “at least two months” before the renewal or end of the contract.
They have also taken up relaying the government’s campaign for energy sobriety and encouraging companies to create a “tool to monitor and manage energy consumption”.
“We will not allow rent to be increased based on fraudulent energy prices,” the Minister of Economy also warned, detailing the European mechanism for limiting the price of a megawatt-hour for producers to 180 euros.
Bruno Le Maire explained that money earned on the market by energy companies above this limit of €180 per MWh will be used by the government to help companies and communities hit hard by skyrocketing electricity bills.