Companies have been applying the energy saving plan for months in the face of the sharp rise in prices

The energy saving plan approved by the Government does not introduce new keys for companies on habits to reduce consumption and is months late. The sharp rise in prices in the first half of the year has forced many companies, large, medium and small, to draw up contingency plans that serve to lower the monthly utility bill -especially gas and electricity-. Employer sources assure on this point that the different maneuvers to try to scratch a few euros from the monthly bill can be seen mainly in the hotel and restaurant businesses with the closing of rooms during certain hours of the day of low activity, or also in small industries where production stoppages are taking place due to stock situations. So that the processes are not continued until the finished products are released. In addition, they explain from the affected sectors that the effect of the plan on each sector in a specific way remains to be seen. These sources warn that, without going any further, in the case of restoration, the point of air conditioning of the premises is a delicate element that could cause "complaints" among users and could affect businesses. "The impact on each activity must be analyzed internally," these sources point out. "Faced with this situation, companies have already begun to take measures, such as adjusting their schedules in the face of rising energy prices, restructuring their production plans, even with partial or total temporary closures of part of their chains, and adjusting stocks”, they confirm from Cepyme. The Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises thus ensures that "Spanish SMEs are already activating their own contingency plans to deal with the sharp increase in costs, which is constraining the margins of most companies". Margin cut Specifically, this adjustment in business activity is already shown in the conventional demand for gas, both in homes and in SMEs, where it fell by 13.8% in June compared to the same month last year and by 4% in the accumulated of the year, according to data from the system operators. This same trend is observed in the consumption of electrical energy, which reveals a contraction in production due to the increase in costs that is affecting companies. In addition, according to data from the Bank of Spain, about 77% of companies have experienced an additional increase in their production costs as a result of higher intermediate consumption costs, but only 38% have transferred it to final prices. This means that companies have seen their profits cut by 100,000 million euros between 2020 and 2021 and by almost 7,000 so far this year. The sectors most affected by the increase in costs, which are already taking measures in this regard, are those with intensive use of gas and electricity, such as the paper industry, metallurgy or steel. Although it is also observed in smaller companies in the hospitality sector, the manufacturing and agri-food industry, as well as agriculture and livestock have also anticipated contingency plans. Small and medium - sized companies have been keeping the business going for months at the expense of their own margins . The increase in total costs, especially supplies and energy, is faster than that of sales. In the first quarter of 2022, total costs rose by 23%, while sales increased by 19.8%. This situation, which is getting worse as the year progresses, worsens the results of the companies and leads to a deterioration in the liquidity and competitiveness of the companies. Information for workers On the side of the unions, from UGT they support the decree approved by the Council of Ministers yesterday afternoon, and emphasizes that it is necessary to train and inform workers about the risks of working in extreme temperatures or under thermal stress and that, among other things, “they must organize work in such a way as to avoid or reduce physical effort during the central hours of the day and plan rest periods during the day. "In addition, in outdoor work, companies must provide workers with protection elements such as protective creams, sunglasses or light work clothes, as well as install shades and provide drinking water," they point out from the union. Related News Standard interview Si Cuerva (Cepyme): "The Government wants to stigmatize the company and confront it with society" Susana Alcelay The business leader accuses the Executive of scaring away investment and warns that his measures are always at the limit of legal certainty As established by the standard approved by the Government, in closed workplaces, in summer the air conditioners of premises, establishments and transport may not be below 27 degrees, while in winter the heating systems should not exceed 19 degrees. centigrade The standard also calls for rationalizing the switching on and off times of air conditioning, ventilation, domestic hot water, lighting and office equipment in office buildings, as well as the rest of the energy-consuming equipment

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