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| February 13, 2023

We summarise what programmes can help you fight the high energy prices

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The current high energy prices, which peaked in the second half of last year, are due to a combination of several factors. The most important are the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine and the reduction of energy supplies from Russia. However, energy prices started to grow in the year 2021 already, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, mainly due to the increased demand from renewed industrial operations after the Covid-19 pandemic. The influence of these two factors specifically on the price of electricity is intensified by the way energy is traded on the European market. In a merit order system, the price of electricity is determined by the most expensive resource that is still needed to meet demand. At the moment, because of the war in Ukraine, that is natural gas.

The Czech government responded to the abrupt increase in energy prices with the following measures. On 30 December 2022, it issued decree No. 463/2022, which sets energy price ceilings for the years 2022 and 2023. The regulation originally applied to households and small and medium-sized businesses. For the year 2023, energy prices are capped for households, small, medium and now also for large enterprises.

Large enterprises can benefit from the Business Support Programme for increased costs of natural gas and electricity due to extraordinary price increases.  The aim is to help businesses entities with high energy prices and support their business activities. Support under this call covers the period from 1 February 2022 to 31 October 2022. Requests for subsidy are due by 8 February 2023.

Another form of support are the national operational programmes managed by individual ministries. The programmes are co-financed by the European Union. The programmes are intended for both public and business entities. For companies struggling with high energy prices, subsidies from these programmes may be a new opportunity to save costs and improve their economic situation. These are mainly the following operational programmes.

Operational Programme Environment (OP Environment)

It supports the following areas:

  • energy savings in the public sector and support of renewable energy sources,
  • water management infrastructure,
  • transition to a circular economy.

The programme is intended for the public sector, businesses and households. The scope of the programme is in the entire Czech Republic outside the capital city of Prague.

Modernisation Fund of the State Environmental Fund (SEF)

It supports the following areas:

  • new renewable energy sources,
  • energy savings in business,
  • modernization of transport in business,
  • modernisation of public transport,
  • energy savings in public buildings
  • community energy,
  • energy efficiency of residential buildings.

Operational Programme Technologies and Applications for Competitiveness (OPTAC)

It supports the following areas:

  • development of business and innovation in the Czech Republic,
  • research and development on energy saving,
  • modernisation of production facilities to reduce energy consumption,
  • installation of renewable energy sources,
  • development of smart energy systems, networks and storage,
  • transition to a circular economy,
  • clean mobility.

The programme is intended for business entities. The scope of the programme is in the entire Czech Republic outside the capital city of Prague.

National Recovery Plan

It supports the following areas:

  • reducing the energy intensity of buildings owned by public institutions,
  • modernisation of heat distribution,
  • installation of photovoltaic power plants,
  • infrastructure for emobility,
  • recycling of industrial water,
  • modernisation of brownfield sites (including reduction of energy intensity).

The programme is intended for public authorities, business entities and individuals. The scope of the programme is throughout the Czech Republic.

New Green Savings

It supports the following areas (it is possible to also obtain a bonus for a combination of multiple measures):

  • insulation of apartment/family houses,
  • replacement of boilers and stoves with more efficient ones,
  • heat pump installation,
  • measures to improve water management (solar heating, rainwater and wastewater treatment),
  • installation of photovoltaic power plants for residential buildings,
  • green roof construction,

The program is primarily intended for individuals, owners of family and apartment buildings and housing cooperatives. The scope of the programme is throughout the Czech Republic.

The issue of high energy prices is approached on two levels. First of all, the government has set the maximum prices for consumers and businesses by capping energy prices.

The second way is to reduce energy consumption and the energy intensity of buildings and production facilities through measures such as insulating building envelopes, replacing heat and cold sources with more efficient ones or installing renewable energy sources.

The government also supports the development of new technologies that lead to energy savings and cost reductions. These include smart control and smart metering technologies, increased use of renewable energy sources, the use of waste heat and the construction of biogas plants. These measures contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the limits of the FIT for 55 package.

Author: Libor Kaňák, Petr Paseka