The European Commission (EC) has granted approval to an €800 million (CZK 19.3 billion) initiative for the Czech Republic. This initiative aims to provide assistance to businesses that are grappling with escalated energy expenses due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This decision was conveyed through an official press release dispatched to the Czech Press Agency.
The aid program will be accessible to large enterprises across all sectors. It is designed to take the form of direct financial grants, intended to cover the added costs incurred as a result of extraordinary spikes in gas and electricity prices. These price hikes occurred between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, when compared to the corresponding period from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021.
The European Commission concludes that the Czech Republic’s proposed initiative is not only essential but also suitable and proportional. Its aim is to rectify the economic imbalances experienced within the Member State. The provided assistance will remain available until the culmination of December 31, 2023.
Entities eligible for support will qualify once the market prices for natural gas and electricity surpass the upper limits established within the initiative. These limits are approximately EUR 210/MWh (CZK 5,000/MWh) for natural gas and EUR 105/MWh (CZK 2,500/MWh) for electricity. The quantum of support will be determined as the disparity between the predefined capped prices within the initiative and the actual market prices prevailing in 2023.
The responsibility of assisting eligible beneficiaries falls upon energy suppliers, who will be required to vend natural gas and electricity at the uppermost prices stipulated by the initiative. However, these suppliers will subsequently receive full reimbursement from the State.