TA Newsflash: “Energy Bills Discount Scheme” announced – much reduced support for businesses from April.

The Government has announced a new energy support scheme for businesses, charities and the public sector to come in at the end of April when the current support scheme ends.

Details are available in the Government announcement.

From 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, eligible non-domestic customers who have a contract with a licensed energy supplier will see a unit discount of up to £6.97/MWh automatically applied to their gas bill and a unit discount of up to £19.61/MWh applied to their electricity bill, except for those benefitting from lower energy prices.

According to James Cartlidge MP, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, on the media this morning, the Government believes this support will provide a saving £2,300 for a pub, or £400 for a typical small retail store. However, business are still going to be facing huge increases in energy bills from April onwards, which may well prove unsustainable for many. UKHospitality reckon that this new scheme will see businesses in their sector see a total of £4.5bn increases in bills compared to the current scheme.

A separate category of support will be provided under the Energy and Trade Intensive Industries (“ETII”):

  • These businesses will receive a discount reflecting the difference between a price threshold and the relevant wholesale price.
  • The price threshold for the scheme will be £99/MWh for gas and £185/MWh for electricity.
  • This discount will only apply to 70% of energy volumes and will be subject to a ‘maximum discount’ of £40.0/MWh for gas and £89.1/MWh for electricity.

The list of eligible sectors is available here, but notably for us includes:

  • Library and archive activities
  • Museum activities
  • Operation of historical sites and buildings and similar visitor attractions
  • Botanical and zoological gardens and nature reserve activities

The application process for ETII support has not yet been announced.