Cost of living: government help to reduce commercial energy bills
Energy Bills Discount Scheme
The government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) provided an automatic discount on the energy bills of many businesses during the period 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.
Most businesses with a non-domestic contract for their gas and electricity supply were eligible for support. Your business won’t have been eligible if:
- you agreed a fixed-tariff contract signed before 1 December 2021; or
- your business used gas or electricity for the purpose of generating power that it sells back into the grid.
If your business was eligible for support under the EBRS, it may continue to receive a reduced level of support through the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS). This scheme runs from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.
If your business is eligible for support, the EBDS will provide an automatic discount to your bills if the wholesale price paid by your supplier exceeds:
- 30.2p per kWh for electricity; and
- 10.7p per kWh for gas.
The maximum discount that will be applied will be 1.961p per kWh for electricity and 0.697p per kWh for gas.
For example, if your supplier pays 34p per kWh for electricity, you will be eligible for a discount as this is higher than the threshold of 30.2p per kWh. As the difference between the two figures is higher than the maximum discount available, your discount will be the maximum 1.961p per kWh for electricity.
Discounts will be automatically applied by your supplier.
For more information on the Energy Bills Discount Scheme, see GOV.UK.
Businesses in sectors with high energy usage
A higher level of support may be available if your business is in a sector with a higher level of energy use. To see if your business may be eligible, check GOV.UK to see if it operates in a sector listed in the Energy and Trade Intensive Industries.
If your business is eligible for a higher level of support, it will have a lower threshold before a discount is applied and the maximum discount will be greater. The discount will apply to 70% of energy used by your business.
- For electricity, discounts will be a maximum of 8.9p per kWh when the wholesale price your supplier pays exceeds 18.5p per kWh.
- For gas, discounts will be for a maximum of 4p per kWh when the price your supplier pays exceeds 9.9p per kWh.
You have to apply for this higher level of support. For further information on eligibility and to apply for the higher level of support, see GOV.UK.
Non-Domestic Alternative Fuel Payment Scheme
Applications to this scheme closed on 28 April 2023. It provided a one-off payment of at least £150 to businesses that operated from a property that was off-grid for gas and used an alternative fuel, such as heating oil (kerosene), wood or liquid petroleum gas.
For more information on the scheme, see GOV.UK.
If you pay energy costs to a landlord
If your landlord passes the cost of energy on to you, they must consider passing on a ‘just and reasonable’ amount of any support they receive from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, Energy Bills Discount Scheme and the Non-Domestic Alternative Fuel Payment Scheme. Your landlord must notify you of their decision on how much they will pass on, even if they decide it is not appropriate to pass on any of the benefit.
Contact us for advice if you feel your landlord is not passing on the right amount of benefit from a scheme to you. You can also find more information on landlords’ obligations on GOV.UK.