The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry conducted an express survey among its members regarding the high prices of electricity and natural gas. It was held in the period 4-6 January 2022.
The study showed that there are no companies that are prepared to cope with their own forces due to the high prices of energy carriers. A negligibly low share (only 1%) of companies have realized progress in these conditions, as well as those who look positively because they are encouraged to invest in RES for their own needs (3% of the respondents).
74% of the respondents indicate that they cannot plan the prices of the goods and services offered by them, due to the dynamics of the electricity prices, which at the end of 2021. reached peak levels on the "Day Ahead" market to levels of BGN 824.55/MWh. In this way, the enterprises miss orders and fulfill only the commitments already made, because the dynamics do not allow normal planning - 34% of the enterprises point out.
Unfortunately, the serious fluctuation in the price of electricity also has a direct impact on the labor force in the enterprise, which is the most important resource in the companies, with 63% stating that they cannot increase the wages of workers against the background of serious inflation in prices and the uncertain electricity market.
41% of the companies indicate that if the crisis lasts too long, they will have to lay off part of the staff, and 24% - that they will suspend operations for an indefinite period.
76% of the entrepreneurs consider that it is necessary for the compensation to be in accordance with the proposals of the nationally representative employers' organizations, namely without a limited ceiling of 30% of the compensation. In this way, the measure will have a serious effect on companies and non-household consumers and will have a stopping effect on the dynamic growth in the prices of goods and services and will have a serious positive effect on the economic environment. Only 5% of businesses consider the proposed compensation mechanism sufficient.
15% of those who have already suspended their operations note that they will resume only when the electricity market recovers to bearable levels.
The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry adds that after a long online meeting yesterday between the Prime Minister and the employers' organizations, an agreement was reached on higher compensation due to the prices of industrial electricity. Thus, at over BGN 185 per megawatt hour on the free market, the compensation will be in the amount of 75% of the excess. The ceiling remains, but it is now different – no more than 250 BGN per megawatt hour. Business expects today, January 12, that the new support scheme will be accepted by the government. It was requested, if possible, that the new higher compensations be paid for December last year as well.