Wholesale energy prices increased rapidly from the second half of 2021 onwards and are unlikely to improve in the short-term future. Businesses, public sector and voluntary sector organisations’ energy bills are increasing by substantial amounts as a consequence.
See details of available resources and advice to support businesses in York with the cost of energy.
Energy Bill Relief Scheme
The government announced a new Energy Bill Relief Scheme for non-domestic energy customers on 21 September 2022.
The scheme will provide a discount on non-domestic energy customers' gas and electricity unit prices. This includes:
- all businesses
- voluntary sector organisations, such as charities
- public sector organisations, such as schools, hospitals and care homes
For all non-domestic energy consumers in Great Britain the government wholesale supported price has been set at:
- £211 per megawatt hour (MWh) for electricity
- £75 per MWh for gas
The level of price reduction for each business will vary depending on their contract type and circumstances.
It will apply to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022, as well as to deemed, variable and flexible tariffs and contracts.
It will run for an initial 6-month period for all non-domestic energy users and will apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023. The savings will be first seen in October bills, which are typically received in November.
Customers do not need to take action or apply to the scheme to access the support. The support will automatically be applied to bills.
If you are not connected to either the gas or electricity grid, equivalent support will also be provided for non-domestic consumers who use heating oil or alternative fuels instead of gas. The government has committed to announcing further detail on this shortly.
After this initial 6-month scheme, the government will provide ongoing focused support for vulnerable industries. There will be a review in December 2022 to consider where this should be targeted to make sure those most in need get support.
See full details of the government Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
Ofgem, the regulator for electricity and gas markets in Great Britain, provides official help on businesses energy complaints, microbusiness gas or electricity, and advice on energy efficiency schemes.
It has set up a dedicated page for businesses who cannot afford their energy bills.
See advice from Ofgem on getting help if your business can't afford its energy bills.
If you're a small business that can't afford your energy bill, Citizens Advice has also set up a support page.
See information from Citizens Advice on what to do if your small business can't afford its energy bills.
Energy efficiency measures
To help reduce your energy bills and reduce carbon, you may want to consider actions that can be taken to improve your businesses energy efficiency.
If you want to lower your energy usage, reduce your water and waste costs, and minimise your impact on the environment, Resource Efficient Business (REBiz) could help.
Their programme provides advice and financial support for small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become more resource efficient, and adopt circular business models and practices.
- free resource efficiency audits worth to £1,200
- 40% funding towards capital investment projects to a maximum £40,000 grant
- free circular economy consultancy of up to 30 days intensive support
Find out more about resource efficiency from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.
UK SME Business Climate Hub
The UK SME Climate Hub is a global initiative that aims to mainstream climate action in the small to medium sized business community.
They have partnered with The British Standards Institution (BSI) to supply 100,000 free copies of the energy management standard BS ISO 50005, ensuring that no matter what size an organisation is everyone can take the first step to a net zero future.
Energy management standards like BS ISO 50005 can help you control your energy usage and cut your energy bills. By showing you how to develop a practical, low-cost energy management system. The free standard helps SMEs identify quick wins in energy reduction, save money and build upon these successes over time.
Download your free energy management standard.
Federation for Small Businesses energy efficiency guide
The Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) have produced an energy efficiency guide as part of its Sustainability Hub.
The guide will help businesses earn how to monitor energy usage in their business and discover ways to reduce wasted energy, including heat controllers, insulation, and LED lights.
View the FSB Energy management plans: How to improve energy efficiency in your business.