One in four business leaders (24%) believe the Government’s energy bill relief scheme (EBRS) has removed a “serious risk” to their business, according to a poll by the Institute of Directors (IoD).
Of the surveyed 500 or so directors whose energy bills made up more than 5% of their costs, 11% stated they have been able to keep their premises open for longer due to the scheme.
A further 35% said that having the energy price cap in place over the winter has made it easier for their business to plan for the future.
Meanwhile, 5% said they would have stopped trading altogether if the Government had not stepped in to help businesses with energy bills.
However, the majority of directors (75%) disagreed with the idea that they would have had to stop trading if it were not for the energy price cap this winter, while 19% neither agreed nor disagreed.
The EBRS scheme is available to everyone on a non-domestic contract including:
- voluntary sector organisations, such as charities
- public sector organisations such as schools, hospitals and care homes.
For all non-domestic energy users in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Government supported price has been set at:
- electricity – £211 per megawatt hour (MWh)/ 21.1p per kilowatt hour (KWh)
- gas – £75 per MWh/ 7.5p per KWh.
Alex Hall-Chen, senior policy advisor at the IoD, said:
“Our data shows that the Government’s energy bill relief scheme has been a crucial intervention, removing a serious risk to around a quarter of businesses.
“We therefore urge the government to continue the EBRS for sectors of the economy particularly vulnerable to current fluctuations in international energy markets.
“To this end, we are concerned that no provision was made for the extension of the scheme beyond March 2023 in the policy costings that accompanied the Autumn Statement.”
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