Energy Bill Relief Scheme kicks in for UK businesses
Government measures to combat spiraling energy costs across non-domestic sectors have now come into force, with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirming that businesses could see costs slashed by more than half for the next six months.
The former Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg unveiled the Energy Bill Relief Scheme back in September, in a bid to more than halve the projected costs of electricity and gas for businesses, charities and public sector organisations.
Equivalent to support through the Energy Price Guarantee, it provides a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all eligible non-domestic customers who were facing soaring energy costs.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) claims that the Government has introduced a new support price of £211 per MWh for electricity, compared to a projected price of £600 per MWh and £75 per MWh for gas compared to a projected winter price of £180 per MWh.
The new pricing, which will be applied in pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh), is available to all non-domestic energy contracts, including businesses, voluntary sector organisations, such as charities and public sector organisations such as schools, hospitals and care homes.
The changes were due to come into effect on 1 October, but savings applied to October bills are usually received in November, so businesses will now be able to receive the benefits.
BEIS has confirmed that the scheme will run for an initial six months.
Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Seeing the savings from our energy support in bills will give businesses across the country peace of mind at a time when they are facing increased pressure.
“By shielding them from a massive increase in energy costs we’re protecting jobs and livelihoods, just as we did throughout the pandemic – ensuring UK businesses do not fall at the hands of Putin.”
The Government is reviewing what will happen to the scheme after April 2023, and will target support for businesses most affected by high energy prices. BEIS has also issued new guidance on the scheme.
Many green economy representatives have asked why the relief scheme has not been paired with other measures, like a new national home insulation scheme.
Others have urged politicians to couple plans for dealing with the cost-of-living crisis with plans for climate action.
Elsewhere, a report from the Corporate Leaders Group this summer concluded that addressing the UK’s rising energy prices in a “climate-friendly” way would not only cut bills for households and businesses now, but reduce the likelihood of future price spikes and be beneficial to the economy in the short and long term.
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