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Government Introduces Energy Bills Discount Scheme for Businesses

Government Introduces Energy Bills Discount Scheme for Businesses
11 January 2023
 

A new package to help UK businesses manage rising energy costs is set to replace the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

The Treasury's new Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) will run from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, and will give businesses a per-unit discount on their energy bills.

Ending in March 2023, the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme is a temporary six-month measure to support firms through the energy price crisis, with a cap on electricity and gas bills.

The government says that the latest data shows wholesale gas prices have “now fallen to levels just before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and have almost halved since the current scheme was announced.” They intend the new scheme to strike a balance between supporting businesses and “limiting taxpayer’s exposure to volatile energy markets.”

 

“It is evident that the EBDS will leave corporate energy bills much higher than before June 2021. This, and not when Russia invaded Ukraine, is when energy costs began to rise, gaining significantly throughout the autumn of that year and into the following winter. At the time of the February invasion 2022, they were already at historically very high levels and, even after recent falls, remain three to four times pre-June 2021 prices.”

–Cornwall Insight

 

 

Energy market analysts Cornwall Insights noted that the new “less supportive” discount package would leave corporate energy bills much higher than before June 2021, which is when energy costs began to rise, not when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022:

“The fact that costs have, for a short recent period, trended back to levels at the time of the invasion is welcome, but does not represent a return to energy bills that businesses experienced in the years prior to the recent crisis. The new scheme as proposed will necessitate a further fuller, and potentially, painful adjustment back to market prices.”

Picture: a photograph of Jeremy Hunt, current Chancellor of the Exchequer. Image Credit: https://members.parliament.uk/member/1572/portraitvia an Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcod

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 11 January 2023

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