Support for energy costs reduced

Industry groups have voiced their concerns over the scaling back of support on business energy bills recently announced by the government. 

In a statement released on 9 January, the government said the current level of support was too expensive and that it was cutting the level of energy subsidies for the next financial year to £5.5bn. Under the new scheme, which will run until the end of March 2024, firms will receive a discount on wholesale prices rather than costs being capped, with heavy energy-using sectors receiving a larger discount than other sectors. 

Some business groups welcomed the scheme’s extension which they said would provide more certainty for firms over the next 12 months. Others, however, warned that the level of support fell short for businesses that were already struggling with soaring costs. 

Commenting on the day of the announcement, British Chambers of Commerce Director General Shevaun Haviland said, “An 85% drop in the financial envelope of support will fall short for thousands of UK businesses who are seriously struggling. While we welcome the 12-month duration of this package, its value is nowhere near far enough and means that for some firms, energy will now be a cost too far.”