The UK government has officially announced a new Energy Bill Relief Scheme aimed at controlling spiralling business energy costs.
Worldwide gas and power shortages, further exasperated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have left many UK businesses facing a financial migraine with energy prices soaring by 238%.
For some people, the announcement of the new scheme posed more questions than answers.
In the following piece, we’ve addressed some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received from our customer base, including exactly what the relief entails, whether you’re eligible for a reduction, how much you’ll save and what the long-term future of the scheme looks like.
Fundamentally, the Energy Bill Relief scheme is a business equivalent of the Energy Price Guarantee, introduced to protect rising energy bills for households.
Running from 1st October 2022 until 31st March 2023, under the new scheme, the government will subsidise the cost of wholesale energy. In order to do this, they will set a ‘Government Supported Price’ at 21.1p/kWh for electricity and 7.5p/kWh for gas. For comparison, wholesale costs for this winter are currently expected to be around 60p/kWh for electricity and 18p/kWh for gas.
Remember, wholesale energy costs typically only make up over half of your overall energy bill, so these figures above won’t be your overall price.
The scheme will be available to everyone on a non-domestic contract including businesses, voluntary sector organisations (such as charities), and public sector bodies, including schools, care homes and hospitals who are:
Firstly, provided the wholesale element of the price you’re paying is above the Government Supported Price listed above, you should see a reduction in the rates you’re paying. Secondly, if you’re unsure what your current wholesale rates are, they are listed on your invoice under ‘commodities’.
The reduction you’ll see is completely dependent on your current rates. The higher the rate you’re on, the bigger the saving you’ll experience.
To give you a clear example of how it works, below, we have listed the usage, previous wholesale costs and the new rates, once the relief scheme has been applied, for a typical UK pub (based on them agreeing a fixed rate contract in August 2022).
|Previous Price (p/kWh)||60p||18p|
|New Price (p/kWh)||21.1p||7.5p|
As shown above, over the course of the next six months, the pub should see a monthly reduction in their energy bills of £3,735. This is due to a 61% reduction in their wholesale costs.
Lastly, please remember, the above figures are for wholesale costs only, and don’t include non-commodity charges.
No, the discount will be applied automatically to your bills and requires no action from your end.
Furthermore, be conscious of potential scammers trying to take advantage of the uncertainty. If you receive a message from someone requesting your bank details that you believe may be fraudulent, you can officially report any suspicious messages online to the UK government.
We are still awaiting feedback from the government regarding the longevity of the scheme. Previously, they announced a planned publication of a review into the operation of the scheme after three months.
The review will decide the effectiveness of the scheme and identify and any potential extensions that may be required for vulnerable businesses. What is determined as a vulnerable business is yet to be fully disclosed by the government, however, this is likely to involve high energy consumers and businesses operating in high-risk sectors, such as hospitality (pubs were used as an example by the Prime Minister.)
In conclusion, the outcome of this review will determine what happens next to businesses. whose contracts run beyond the end of the 31st of March 2023 support period.
To help businesses like yours, we have created a super-easy process for our experts to gather the necessary information to assess your costs and investigate savings, fast.
To begin with, all we need is just a few bits of basic information. This includes copies of your latest gas and electricity bills and a signed Letter of Authority (LOA). With this, we can analyse your current spending and then approach suppliers on your behalf to procure the best energy contracts for your business.
Our dedicated account management team will oversee the whole process and deal with any queries from suppliers.
Find out more about our hassle-free business energy switching service and read our team’s answers to some of our customers most frequently asked questions.