Innovative Energy Consultancy Ltd
Innovative Energy Consultancy Ltd

Energy Costs – Firms Remain Concerned

Many businesses remain concerned about the rising cost of energy, despite the Government’s new measures to help alleviate the problem.

The BBC reported widespread concern, from business owners in the hospitality industry through to those running leisure venues with large spaces that need to be heated. Manufacturers with energy-intensive processes are also worried, alongside small business owners like beauty salons.

Tina McKenzie, Policy and Advocacy Chair, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said:

“(The) announcement will give certainty for the next six months, but a tough year remains ahead of many small firms.

“Many have been waiting for details on the energy bills support package to plan confidently for the winter and beyond, so it’s encouraging to have the clarity from Government on the form that its support will take. The next stage will be for small businesses to learn what the changes mean for their current contracts and for any offers they have been looking at, but waiting to decide what to do.

“Subsidising the unit costs of electricity and gas for six months is welcome, but there are those who miss out from before the six-month period, and help must not result in a cliff-edge afterwards. We are calling for a hardship fund to be created for those who fall outside of the current support, or for whom the current support will be insufficient.

“There will be hardship for some businesses which signed fixed contracts after prices rose but before April, who find themselves excluded from the scheme. FSB calls on energy suppliers to allow those customers to switch without charge to new fixed contracts, covered by the Energy Supported Price, if that makes the difference for the small business to survive.

“There will also be hardship for those who’ve paid elevated bills since April, as this help only kicks in for October usage – i.e. November bills. Help is then estimated by the Government to cover up to half the increase from that part.”

Read the BBC report here and the FSB’s full statement here.

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