New support measures announced in recent days are designed to make the next few months easier for businesses and public sector organisations. But here’s why now is not the time to relax and forget about energy contracts.
The UK government has unveiled a six-month support package to help non-domestic customers through the winter energy crisis. The support is set to cap wholesale costs of gas and electricity at a time when many fixed contracts are set to end and some businesses were reporting a potential 500% increase on their bills.
But while this intervention represents a welcome short-term respite from imminent hikes, now is still a critical time to plan for the future and take steps to make important changes.
Let’s take a closer look at what the support package includes, before we identify the steps you should be taking to avoid crippling costs in the future.
What is in the support package?
Ministers have announced that the new scheme will run for six months, starting from the 1st October. Schools, hospitals, charities and businesses will benefit from the cap on wholesale prices, with the aim for bills to be almost halved.
Describing the package, chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We have stepped in to stop businesses collapsing, protect jobs and limit inflation. And with our plans to boost home-grown energy supply, we will bring security to the sector, growth to the economy and secure a better deal for customers.”
The cut to bill prices will make things easier for businesses during a time that would otherwise have been catastrophic. The supported wholesale price is set to be £211 per megawatt hour (MWh) for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas.
This is a short term solution
While the measures are welcome, many businesses and organisations have expressed mixed views, suggesting that the support package is insufficient. The Night Time Industries Association Scotland (NTIA) have expressed some concern over the details included, saying:
“We remain concerned that this measure to cap the wholesale price of energy supply for companies may not result in sufficient relief […] The net result of this could be a position where small businesses are still being asked to pay unaffordable energy bills of several hundred per cent more than in previous years.”
It’s important to note that the support package is a short-term measure, and that using a lot of energy will still lead to high bills. Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the support scheme will be “inadequate” without energy market reform.
How to practice energy efficiency in the long term
Even with the support package in place, it’s important for businesses to implement their own measures to promote longer-term energy efficiency improvements, with a broader outlook than just the next few months.
This should begin with an energy audit to identify areas for efficiency savings. Even if your organisation has already, swapped old lightbulbs for LED bulbs and improved insulation, there may still be many sustainability and optimisation solutions that can be implemented to save thousands of pounds a year. If you are yet to install solar PVs, heat pumps or other renewable energy technologies on your premises, we can help guide you through the options available to you.
To book an audit with a Consultiv energy consultant click here.
Monitoring your usage over time is also an important way to improve efficiency and help to bring costs down in the long term. That’s why we encourage all of our customers to utilise the Consultiv Connect Customer Portal, which enables both you and our team of experts to analyse usage and explore opportunities to make critical savings.
You should also take the time to keep your employees informed on your sustainability and efficiency efforts, as true efficiency can only be achieved with everyone on board. Incentives are also an option to keep your team members engaged.
Contact the team at Consultiv Utilities
Seeking out support from experts in the energy management field can also give you the guidance you need to make the most of your utility spending. Working with Consultiv Utilities can help to keep you in the loop on securing the most competitive contracts and ongoing support for your organisation. With years of experience under our belts, we’re well equipped to give you the long term assistance you need. Whether you’d like to find out more about the latest fixed and flexible contracts on the market, explore optimisation solutions or implement sustainability solutions, we are here to support you through this crucial period.