The government’s new energy bills discount scheme is not offering much to help wholesalers, with the FWD claiming that the wholesale energy price will probably fall below the 30.2p per kwh threshold due to market forces, and therefore few businesses will get help, except those who signed fixed contracts at way above that level in 2022.
The new scheme for UK businesses will begin on 31 March and provides a discount on high energy costs for 12 months. Following this, all eligible non-domestic customers who have a contract with a licensed energy supplier will see a unit discount of up to £6.97/MWh automatically applied to their gas bill and a unit discount of up to £19.61/MWh applied to their electricity bill.
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James Bielby, chief executive of the FWD said: “The discount is so small it won’t make a huge amount of difference, and they will still be paying much higher energy bills than this time last year. The government has also taken the easier option in giving blanket support, rather than taking into account the vital nature of food distribution, and the unavoidably high energy consumption that it involves, and supporting it accordingly.
“Food and drink supply to households and public services will be disproportionately affected by rising costs, so we will continue to work with government to make the case for bespoke support for wholesalers. If we are looking for positives, there is now extra incentive for wholesalers to look for ways to be more energy efficient.”
Wholesale customers are also unhappy with the new measure, with The Fed’s national president Jason Birks explaining: “This is hugely disappointing for many independent retailers who are struggling to survive. With rising energy bills, falling margins, and rising payroll costs, small businesses will continue to struggle or, indeed, cease to exist unless additional financial support is available.”