What does the government’s latest announcement mean for business energy bills and what should I do now?

Last week the government announced its plans to deal with the rising cost of energy, which is threatening businesses around the UK as we head towards winter. Here’s what you need to know about the new initiatives, how it could help your organisation and what your next steps should be now.

While explicit support has been offered to UK households in the form of an energy price guarantee, there is still a lack of clarity around the relief being offered to commercial organisations, unfortunately. What has been stated in Thursday’s press release is that businesses and public sector organisations will see “equivalent support” through the winter months. This suggests that energy costs for businesses will be capped at the same price per unit as consumers.

In addition to subsidising energy supply and suspending green levies, Prime Minister Liz Truss also announced that more will be done to increase supply and tackle “the root cause of the issue”. This will include the creation of a new “energy supply taskforce” dedicated to accelerating all sources of UK-generated energy.

Prior to the announcement it was expected that businesses – which are not protected by an energy price cap – were projecting more than a 500% increase in energy costs as of 1st October. Instead, a new six-month scheme for businesses and other non-domestic energy users (which includes charities, schools and other public sector organisations) will receive equivalent support.

Beyond this 6-month initiative it has been stated that there will be “ongoing support” focused on the most vulnerable industries. It is hoped that this short-term relief will be followed by a more sustainable, long-term solution for the thousands of organisations around the country that are still trying to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What should my business do now?

The news that energy bills will not be spiralling out of control in the immediate term should provide business owners and senior management teams with some level of comfort. However, it is important to put steps in place now that will look beyond the coming winter and help to reduce costs through 2023 and beyond.

Implement energy saving measures

Reducing energy bills is easier said than done. Nevertheless, looking for efficiency savings now could make a dramatic difference over the coming months and years. Whether it’s adding motion sensors to LED lights in your office, upgrading insulation or installing more energy efficient equipment in your factory, savings can add up to thousands of pounds a year at the current unit rate.

Similarly, embedding good practices amongst staff now – even if it’s minimising the use of printers or turning off computers at the end of the day – can pay off over the course of a 12-month period.

Look at renewable energy options

Whether it’s installing a wind turbine at your factory or installing solar photovoltaic panels on top of your retail unit, investing in alternative energy sources ahead of the winter could help to ensure that electricity and gas bills don’t hit your organisation hard in the future.

Stay ahead of the market

At a time of volatility it is important to ensure that you aren’t left behind the curve and missing out on the best deals when they arise. Staying in close contact with your energy consultant or procurement specialist may be the difference between securing a competitive deal and finding yourself on a crippling contract.

Whether you’re looking to reduce energy consumption, implement sustainable technologies or simply secure a competitive rate on the market, the team here at Consultiv Utilities are here for you. Even if you are simply looking for more information on how the market is changing, how to audit usage internally or what questions to ask, we’re only a phone call away. You can contact us on 0191 250 5557.