The government have announced the introduction of an Energy Bills Discount Scheme commencing 31 March 2023. The new funding will act in place of the current discount on gas and electricity unit prices.
This new support will give energy-contracted businesses discounts on wholesale prices of up to £6.97 per megawatt an hour for electricity and £19.61 per megawatt an hour for gas. This is much less than the current discount, since wholesale energy costs have fallen back to almost where they were before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Businesses will receive the discount automatically. The Government estimates that a typical pub will save £2,300 off their annual bill, whereas a small retailer will save around £400.
Responding to the announcement, Richard Lambert, NHBF chief executive said:
‘We are relieved that the Government has answered our call and that the hair & beauty sector will at least receive some support via the Energy Bills Discount Scheme. However, many will see the discount swallowed up in the first month or two due to the energy price increases we are already facing.
Energy costs are the first or second largest outgoing for most hair and beauty salons and barbershops, thus it remains to be seen whether this reduced support will allow business owners to keep the doors open and lights on beyond March 2023. Our sector is locked in a fight for survival – with 20% of businesses saying they may likely downsize or close over the coming months – further support will be needed to ensure that this sector can continue to make its significant contribution to vibrant high streets and community wellbeing’.