Support Measures for Companies to Cushion High Energy Costs

Public support measures for enterprises to cushion high energy costs should be limited to those companies that cannot pass on their costs because they are exposed to international competition. In order not to distort the internal market, a coordinated approach at European level, which is preferable to "isolated solutions" of individual EU member countries, should be sought. From an ecological perspective, a suspension of national emissions trading and the energy cost subsidy for companies presented by the federal government at the end of September 2022 should be viewed critically. With the concrete programme design of the energy cost subsidy for companies, Austria has opted for a broadly rolled-out subsidy regime, accepting correspondingly high deadweight losses, and against targeted support for companies with intact business models. A general loss carryback combined with liquidity support (guarantees) and a reduction in non-wage labour costs would have been both more budget-friendly and more economically efficient.