The UK government has announced an Energy Bill Relief Scheme to protect businesses from rising energy costs.
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said that the UK government will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers, including hospitality businesses, whose current energy prices have significantly increased in recent months.
A September 2022 survey from UKHospitality revealed that the average energy price increase for hospitality businesses has reached 238%, with more than 70% of organisations in the industry witnessing their bills more than double.
The new support will apply to all energy contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022 and relates to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.
A government review of the scheme will be undertaken in December 2022 to inform decisions on future support after March 2023.
UKHospitality has labelled the measures as ‘unprecedented’ and ‘extremely welcome’ for both small and large companies in the industry. However, the trade body said further support will be necessary once the scheme ends next year.
“Today’s announcement will give businesses some confidence to plan for immediate survival but we will not relent in our pursuit of a more comprehensive package to safeguard businesses and jobs. The levers of reduced VAT and business rates reliefs are still available to the government, and there must also be a comprehensive package to ensure that there is no cliff edge when these measures fall away," said Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality.
UKHospitality represents more than 700 hospitality companies in the UK which collectively operate approximately 85,000 venues.