Small businesses at risk as energy costs rise

April 6, 2023

The end of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) on 1 April could threaten the future of hundreds of thousands of small firms, according to research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

From 1 April 2023, the Government has largely downscaled its energy support for small firms that are on fixed price contracts agreed on or after 1 December 2021, as well as on deemed/out-of-contract or variable tariffs or similar contracts. The rebate is now provided through the Energy Bills Discount Scheme, which will run for 12 months and until 31 March 2024. This new scheme offers much less support than the previous Energy Bill Discount Scheme, which came to end on 31 March 2023. FSB has expressed disappointment by the support cuts.

“We’ve written to the Government as well as Ofgem to allow small businesses who signed up to high fixed energy prices in 2022 to renegotiate and ‘blend and extend’ their contacts, meaning they can come out from the high fixed rates with their energy suppliers and agree to a new fixed term contract based on the lower prices that we see at the moment.”

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