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(DF) Companies Not Ready to Handle High Energy Costs Alone, Survey Shows

January 11 (BTA) – No company is ready to handle the high energy costs on its own, a Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) express survey shows. Only 1 per cent of the BCCI member companies have progressed since the sharp increase of electricity and natural gas prices, the poll shows. No more than 3 per cent view the situation positively as they are encouraged to invest in renewable energy sources to meet their own demand for energy. Some 74 per cent of the respondents argued that they cannot plan the prices of the goods and services they provide due to the electricity price volatility. At the end of 2021, electricity price reached a peak of 824.55 leva/MWh at the Day-Ahead market. Some 34 per cent of the companies work on the orders they have already accepted and do not accept new ones as the electricity price volatility does not allow them to make proper future planning. A total of 63 per cent of the respondents said that they cannot raise their employees’ salaries amid the growing inflation due to the price increase of electricity. Some 41 per cent of the respondents said they would have to make staff cuts and another 24 per cent noted that they will suspend their business activity for an indefinite period of time. According to 76 per cent of the respondents, the government should compensate the business in accordance with the proposals of the representatives of employers’ organizations at the national level and scrap the compensation cap of 30 per cent of the actual market price. Such measures will have a serious impact on companies and non-household consumers and will halt spike of prices and services, thus positively influencing the economy. Only 5 per cent of the respondents believe that the compensatory mechanism proposed by the government will be sufficient in its current version. Some 15 per cent of the companies who were forced to shut down, said they will resume business activity only when the electricity prices normalize. The poll was conducted among BCCI member companies between January 4 and 6.