Yesterday (Wednesday 21 September), the government announced new support for households, businesses and public sector organisations facing rising energy bills in Great Britain and Northern Ireland through a new Government Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
Discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices
The government will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers (including all UK businesses, the voluntary sector like charities and the public sector such as schools and hospitals) whose current gas and electricity prices are high. This support will be equivalent to the Energy Price Guarantee put in place for households earlier this month.
It will apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, running for an initial six-month period for all non-domestic energy users. The government will publish a review into the operation of the scheme in three months to inform decisions on future support after March 2023.
As with the Energy Price Guarantee for households, customers do not need to take action or apply to the scheme to access the support. Support (in the form of a p/kWh discount) will automatically be applied to bills.
For those not connected to either the gas or electricity grid, equivalent support will also be provided for non-domestic consumers who use heating oil or alternative fuels instead of gas. Further detail on this will be announced shortly.
More details about the Energy Bills Support Scheme
The government also announced further details on the separate Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) to ensure that the £400 discount to households starting from October will also be available to the 1 per cent of households who would not otherwise have received this support. Additional funding will be made available so that £400 payments will be extended to include people such as park home residents and those tenants whose landlords pay for their energy via a commercial contract.
The government will also provide an additional payment of £100 to households across the UK who are not able to receive support for their heating costs through the Energy Price Guarantee. This might be because they live in an area of the UK that is not served by the gas grid and is to compensate for the rising costs of alternative fuels such as heating oil.
This announcement follows the launch of the Energy Price Guarantee for households in Great Britain, under which a typical household will pay on average £2,500 a year on their energy bill for the next two years from 1 October.
For all Black Country businesses concerned about rising costs, this Emergency Mini Budget Event with Crowe UK and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce in Oldbury tomorrow (Friday 23 September) will create a valuable space to watch and discuss the announcements with other professionals.
We know rising costs are creating a very worrying time for our Sandwell business community. We will keep you updated with every piece of available support. Visit our business services menu to see what else we can offer.