Energies, the impact of the pandemic affects companies

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The pandemic has affected many areas, and the economic crisis has affected energy in particular. Faced with the situation, what is the impact for businesses, for consumers? To resume their activity, companies rely on all the necessary forces and levers. However, faced with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic that has been raging for more than two years, some obstacles affect these levers. Consequences at all scales, affecting both businesses and households.

Energy in the face of rising costs

The increase in energy prices directly affects the purchasing power of households, but also the stability of companies. Indeed, 79% of VSEs say that the increase in energy-related costs is growing by 15% for 2022. Significant rates, which directly impact their operation. For 77% of business leaders, these increases have a direct negative impact on their business.

While all sectors are impacted by this increase, some are suffering more strongly, such as construction and food. These two sectors of activity need electricity in particular to use their tools on the one hand; or to ensure that sensitive foodstuffs are kept at a good temperature.

As a result of this increase, a large number of companies have no choice but to pass this on to the price of the services and goods offered. A delicate situation, knowing that households are also affected by the increases, reducing their purchasing power… This increase concerns 61% of companies, and could increase over time.

How does this increase translate? 8% of companies are betting on a 10% to 12% increase in their rates; 11% increase their prices from 8% to 10%; 17% of companies are aiming for a 4% to 5% increase. Significant data, which show the evolution of the market and the forced adaptation of companies.

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Reduce your margin to stay accessible

Faced with rising energy prices, not all companies choose to penalize customers by also increasing the price of their goods or services. Indeed, some choose to reduce their margins so that these increases are not felt on the last link in the chain. An action that still penalizes companies that pay more, and receive less in proportion. Business leaders in CHR (Hôtellerie Restauration) largely deplore the rise in energy prices. 92% of them deplore this situation, especially since they are the first victims of the pandemic from a professional point of view.

Lockdowns and repetitive closures directly impact professionals in these sectors, and reach their economy. With energies on the rise, this only accentuates the difficulties, especially related to expenses and cash flow. Make the decision not to impact prices on end customers. A delicate situation, faced with energies that continue to grow in value. For companies, the urgency is more than ever to turn to a more ecological and green transition to lighten the energy bill of companies over time.

The case of construction companies

Among the companies impacted by the rise in energy prices, construction companies are facing a complicated situation. The CAPEB of Nouvelle Aquitaine is concerned about the evolution and the economic situation of construction companies in the region. CAPEB is the Confédération Artisanale des Petites Entreprises du Bâtiment. This is the professional organization that represents the majority of companies in the sector. If the level of activity is good, there is some concern. This concern comes from the effects of the health crisis but also from the conflict in Ukraine. In the face of inflation, companies are witnessing a rapid deterioration in their profitability.

Indeed, for construction companies that have no less than 70,000 vehicles in the region, the increase in fuel is a great source of concern. For its part, the Public Works sector, which consumes between 15,000 and 30,000 liters of RNG, is also in a tense situation. As the profitability of companies is undermined by the increase in raw materials, the rise in the price of energy is a blow to the club. For more than half of the construction companies, the price increases could not be passed on to the signed quotes. At the same time, companies are losing more money by making certain quotes than if they end them.

CAPEB is considering avenues of reflection to find solutions for companies in difficulty. Among the solutions, it proposes the establishment of a tariff shield mechanism for the cost of energy. It also proposes the deferral of charges for companies that need them.


Rising energy prices and impact on SMEs SDI PME study from 3 to 6 February 2022

Press release of 23 March 2022, CAPEB/Artisanat du Bâtiment/Nouvelle Aquitaine

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