The cost-of-living crisis is hitting everyone in the UK, and indeed around the world, with sky-high energy costs – a bitter pill after we had all become accustomed to so many years of low, stable energy.
For businesses who simply can’t turn the lights off or dial down their use of gas, the near doubling of energy has been a shock, especially after being hit by so many years of Covid-related shocks.
What is the support available for businesses? What are the immediate risks? And how can companies overcome energy price troubles to ensure their business continuity? Read on to learn more.
Businesses energy bill support is being reduced
Up until recently, the government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme has included support for businesses.
This scheme has seen companies, charities, and public sector organisations receive a discount to gas and electricity unit prices, reducing electricity from around 60p per kilowatt hour (KWh) to 21.1p per KWh, and gas from 18p per KWh to 7.5p per KWh.
This drastic reduction in bills has shielded many companies up until now, however, recently announced plans from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will see support reduced from April 1st, 2023, with bills now being discounted by up to £19.61 per MWh for electricity and £6.97 per megawatt hour (MWh) for gas.
Companies say they are struggling
Companies will need to make up the difference until the scheme ends in March 2024 and is either removed entirely or replaced with a new scheme. As such, many face closure as they will not keep up with energy bills
A survey by NerdWallet in January 2023 found that 45% of business owners feared they would need to close their business, and only 11% felt they could cope. 25% had made staff redundant to reduce their costs, with 43% raising their prices to help cover the difference.
What can businesses do to save on their bills?
There are several ways that businesses can save on their energy bills and weather the storm over the coming year:
- Install cheap but helpful products in the workplace – There are lots of different products that can cut down on energy use while reducing costs. Draught excluders are a must for offices. And PVC strip curtains can help create a barrier between the indoors and outdoors when areas need to be constantly open.
- Save for winter – All businesses should work out how much their energy bull is going to be next winter and save money over summer when bills are nowhere near as high.
- Run an energy audit – Look at all the areas of your business that use energy, and note these down. Are there any areas that scream out as candidates for cutting?
- Go LED – If your business has yet to switch to LED lightbulbs, ditch the incandescent and go low-energy to save.