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Business energy plan what it means for you

Report from: Small Business

Energy firms warn that government has just days to finalise details of how business energy package will work if companies are to benefit this winter

Liz Truss has set out her energy plan for business, offering equivalent help as households on bills – but only for six months.

Under this, the state will pay energy suppliers the difference between the new cap and what energy retailers would otherwise charge their customers.

After six months, the government will switch from the business scheme to a more focused plan for vulnerable industries, such as hospitality.

However, five days on from the announcement, there have been no further details on how Liz Truss intends to implement her small business energy plan.

Unlike the household support, the government has not provided any financial details about where fixed unit prices would be set or if it could be used by small businesses that have already agreed contracts at higher levels in recent months.

Business groups have called for the package to be worked out as quickly as possible, with many companies due to renegotiate their electricity and gas rates in October.

Questions still to be answered include:

  • What will be the fixed unit prices (and standing charges) from October 1?
  • What practically will now change – will energy retailers suspend high quotes and contract offers and recalculate from October 1?
  • Will those who have accepted hugely increased bills in recent weeks be able to renegotiate to bring their bills down to reasonable levels?
  • As a small business normally gets quoted for at least 12 months, does that new quote include 6 months at a low rate and 6 months at a high uncapped rate? How does the energy retailer know who to quote extra support to, for the second six-month period?

Craig Beaumont, chief of external affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Done right, this will be a lifeline to small businesses. However, there is a worrying lack of detail and lots of questions about practicalities, while the six-month cliff edge does not match the two years of consumer support.”


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