“The bill has been multiplied by 14”

Rising energy prices are strangling more and more small businesses. The Chamber of Trades of Bas-Rhin is therefore sounding the alarm. According to her, the craftsmen are taken by the throat.

At the beginning of September the government promised the extension of aid for companies that consume a lot of gas and electricity. And the extension of the price shield in January to certain small businesses. But some are not eligible for this aid.

They find themselves in very great difficulty like the Fischer-Kientzi butchery in Erstein. However, it has just expanded, with a brand new building.

It has LED lamps and perfectly insulated cold rooms. 1,200,000 euros of investment for the Fischer family. But nothing helped, the electricity bill still exploded.

“We paid 1,000 euros in August 2021 and in August 2022 more than 14,000 euros. When we built the new building, we were told that it would be double, maximum triple. We said to ourselves up to 5,000 euros that OK, but not 14,000…“laments the co-manager Chantale Fischer.

great bitterness

The butcher has tried everything to reduce consumption but there is a limit, explains Julien Fischer, the other co-manager. “Clearly today the cold is the main tool. It is a third of our consumption. We cannot reduce this consumption, it is to guarantee food security” he explains.

Cold rooms consume a lot of electricity © Radio France
Antoine Balandra

Here 18 employees produce every week 5 tons of meat and charcuterie. A business that was still flourishing a few months ago but which finds itself with 40,000 euros in unpaid electricity. Hence the immense bitterness of Chantale Fischer. “It’s the cleaver. It is not fair. We work from Monday to Sunday and we have nothing. In the worst case, it will be the key under the door. We will fight, but it should not exist, it is not possible” she says.

However, the management has considered alternative solutions. Like installing solar panels or raising selling prices. But the panels are very expensive. And raising prices could drive away some of the customers. In short, nothing that cannot sufficiently dampen the rise in electricity.

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