Published on: 19 January 2023
Energy Support and Business Rate Relief – Future support with energy costs
As previously warned, the government has now confirmed that the level of support it will give to businesses to help manage the cost of energy bills will dramatically reduce at the end of March when the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme ends and is replaced by a new smaller Energy Bill Discount Scheme.
From 1 April 2023, non-domestic customers that have a contract with a licensed energy supplier will see a unit discount of up to £6.97 per megawatt-hour automatically applied to their gas bill and a unit discount of up to £19.61 per megawatt-hour applied to their electricity bill, except for those already benefiting from lower energy prices. This new £5.5bn transitional scheme, which equates to 1p cut in income tax, will run for 12 months to provide businesses with a level of certainty.
The discount will be available to those:
- on existing fixed price contracts that were agreed on or after 1 December 2021;
- signing new fixed price contracts;
- on deemed / out of contract or standard variable tariffs;
- on flexible purchase or similar contracts;
- on contracts paying energy costs above a price threshold.
Concerns that reductions in energy prices not being passed on to businesses were recently raised in Parliament. This has led the government to instruct Ofgem to investigate and report on actions required in advance of the Spring Budget on 15 March.
In addition to the Energy Bill Discount Scheme, there will be substantially higher levels of support for the UK’s energy and trade intensive industries. Under this ETII scheme eligible businesses will receive discounts based on a price threshold capped by a maximum unit discount of £40 per megawatt-hour for gas and £89.10 per megawatt-hour for electricity and apply to up to 70 percent of energy values.
There will also be a revised Energy Bill Relief Scheme for non-domestic energy customers who receive gas or electricity via public networks from non-licensed providers. This will only be relevant to a very small number of organisations but where an intermediary has its energy bills discounted through this scheme, it must then calculate the just and reasonable amount to pass on to its end user. For further information click here.
Business Rates Relief – All businesses within the ‘retail, hospitality and leisure’ sectors will receive 75 percent business rates relief in 2023/24, up to a cash cap per business of £110,000. This will take the form of a discretionary discount applied at local authority level and paid nationally. British Marine expects local authorities to regard marinas, boat hire and passenger boat businesses as eligible under this category, as they were two years ago for the leisure, hospitality and retail business grant during the Covid pandemic. If this proves not the case please let our Public Affairs team know.
The government has also confirmed the multiplier used to obtain business rates will be frozen again for this year, 2023-24. There will be a transitional relief scheme for 2023-26 to take account of the business rates revaluation that takes effect on 1 April 2023 and which is likely to result in many properties facing a significant increase in their bills.
A further Treasury led scheme, ‘Supporting Small Businesses’, will ensure properties seeing reductions in their small business rate relief, or rural rate relief, as a result of the 2023 revaluation will see the rise in their rate bills capped at £600 per year during the 2023-26 rating list. This scheme will also apply to properties that lose their eligibility for either of those reliefs because of their rateable value rising following the revaluation.
Please contact British Marine’s Public Affairs team if you have comments on the above or require further clarification. Email firstname.lastname@example.org