Novelties in Slovenian legislation: Act determining the aid to the economy due to high electricity and natural gas prices

19 September 2022

On September 10, 2022 the new Act determining the aid to the economy due to high electricity and natural gas prices (Official Gazette of Republic of Slovenia, No. 117/22) entered into force. The Act was prepared by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and aims to help companies in mitigating the effects of high prices on this year's operations.

For the purposes of implementing the Act, the state will allocate EUR 40 million while its main goal is to preserve the competitiveness, employment and development capacities of the Slovenian economy. If the European Commission will extend the period of granting this type of state aid (extension of the Temporary Crisis Framework), Slovenian companies will receive aid for the coming year as well.

Beneficiaries of aid will be legal and natural persons who carry out economic activity and have been registered as a company, sole proprietors or co-operatives by December 1, 2021 at the latest. Beneficiaries from the field of primary agricultural production and fishing will also be eligible to receive aid.

Beneficiaries will have to meet some conditions to claim aid:

- bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings may not have been initiated against the beneficiary on the date of submission of the application;
- beneficiary may not have outstanding due tax liabilities and unsubmitted and unpaid statements of withholding taxes for income from employment for the period of the last year in the amount of EUR 50 or more.

Companies that are entitled to the regulated price of natural gas or electricity in accordance to other regulations or have already included the increase in the cost of electricity and natural gas in the price of their products or services, are not entitled to state aid.

Companies will receive aid in the form of co-financing 30% of the costs of electricity and natural gas in 2022 if this year's prices have risen by at least twice the average of last year's prices. The calculation of eligible costs is made according to the methodology of the European Commission and refers to the period between June 1 and December 31, 2022.

Types of aid for businesses are:
simple aid (for small and medium-sized companies), that may not exceed EUR 500,000 and 30 % of eligible costs;
special aid (mainly for large businesses), that may not exceed EUR 2,000,000 and 30 % of eligible costs, with the additional restriction that the calculation of eligible costs is limited to a maximum of 70% of consumption in the same period of 2021;
aid for energy-intensive companies, where the amount of aid will also be limited to EUR 2,000,000, but companies will be able to apply for reimbursements of up to 70% of the eligible costs upon proving a business loss.

Companies will have to submit applications with relevant proof of the costs of electricity and natural gas for 2021 and for the entire period from June to December 2022 to the Public Agency SPIRIT Slovenia from November 1 to November 15, 2022. Data from June to September 2022 will be based on actual costs, and data from October to December 2022 will be estimated.

The aid will firstly be paid out by December 31, 2021 for costs relating to the period between June and September 2022. Payments for expenses incurred between October and December 2022 will be made by March 15, 2023, based on the actual information submitted by the companies by January 31, 2023.