The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry conducted an express survey among its members in connection with 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 on their own with the high energy prices. A negligibly low share of companies (only 1%) have made progress in these conditions, while only 3% of respondents have a positive view because they are encouraged to invest in renewable energy sources for their own needs.
74% of respondents indicate that they cannot plan the prices of the goods and services they offer due to the dynamics in the prices of electricity, which at the end of 2021 reached peak levels of BGN 824.55/MWh on the Day Ahead market. In this way, companies miss orders and fulfill only the commitments already made, because the dynamics do not allow for normal planning – according to 34% of companies.
Unfortunately, the serious fluctuations in the price of electricity also have a direct impact on the labour force, which is the most important resource in companies, with 63% of respondents saying they cannot increase workers’ wages amid severe inflation in prices and uncertainty in the electricity market.
41% of companies say that if the crisis lasts too long, they will have to lay off some staff, and 24% that they will cease operations indefinitely.
76% of entrepreneurs believe that the compensation needs to be in line with the proposals of the nationally representative employers’ organizations, namely the compensation should not be limited to 30%. In this way, the measure will have a serious effect on businesses and non-household consumers and will have a halting effect on the dynamic growth of prices of goods and services, thus having a serious positive effect on the economic environment. Only 5% of businesses consider the proposed compensation mechanism to be sufficient.
15% of those who have already ceased their activities say that they will restore it only when the electricity market recovers to tolerable levels.