A quarter of companies in energy-intensive sectors already expect to suffer heavy losses this year due to the extreme rise in energy prices. A growing percentage expects this for the next year. A third of companies now pay 3 to 8 times more for electricity compared to last year. For more than a quarter, gasoline prices have been multiplied by 3 to 8.
This is according to a flash poll carried out by VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland in cooperation with around 20 affiliated industrial organizations from energy-intensive sectors. The impact of rising energy costs is already significant, the survey clearly shows. A quarter of entrepreneurs already expect to suffer a loss this year. Another third expects to dip (strongly) into the red next year.
Energy costs cannot be passed on
This is mainly due to the fact that the vast majority of companies cannot or can hardly pass on the sharp increase in energy costs. This is because they do not want to exclude themselves from the market, they have long-term contracts or their prices are imposed by the customer. The flash poll shows this to be true for 84% of companies. Companies that cannot pass on their prices are the most pessimistic. Among them, 40% expect heavy losses next year.
Among the companies surveyed, 65% have a variable or expiring contract and are now or soon facing sharply rising energy prices. Only 10% still have a longer-term contract and are not affected at the moment.
Electricity and gas prices
Electricity prices go up several notches. Some 34% of business owners are seeing their bills increase 3-8x compared to 2021. Some 37% will pay 2-3x more. For 29% of business owners surveyed, gasoline prices are 2-3 times higher than in 2021. Another 27% will pay up to 3-8 times more.
Cushion the negative effects
Many European countries are now using the wider EU support framework to cushion the negative effects of high energy prices on businesses. VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland are in talks with the government on how best to help businesses here too. They seek to avoid a distortion of the rules of the game and to overcome this temporary phase of extremely high energy prices. Solutions are also needed precisely now to ensure businesses can continue to become more sustainable, business organizations said.
The flash survey was conducted among 722 energy-intensive companies from the member circles of VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland. These include printers and laundries, metal and greenhouse construction companies, (industrial) bakers, brick makers, chemical companies and manufacturers of products such as plastic and paper, damage repair and butchers.