IoD press release Energy discount scheme will provide reassurance but less certainty for business budgeting

Responding to the Government’s announcement of the new Energy Bill Discount Scheme, which will replace the Energy Bill Relief Scheme from April, Alex (Alexandra) Hall-Chen, Principal Policy Advisor for Sustainability, Skills and Employment at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Our research has shown that the Energy Bill Relief Scheme has been a crucial intervention, removing a serious risk to around a quarter of businesses this winter. Businesses will therefore be reassured that some support will continue for a further twelve months.

“We also welcome the Chancellor’s invention with Ofgem to ensure that all businesses, and particularly smaller businesses, are able to benefit from a fair and well-functioning energy market.

“However, whilst many manufacturers will also receive additional support, it is a shame that the government has not found a way to target other firms most exposed to volatile international energy markets, such as those in the hospitality sector.

“The design of the new scheme will also provide less certainty for businesses in budgeting. Given that future energy costs will no longer be able to be projected with any degree of confidence, the willingness of directors and auditors to sign off their entities as going concerns will be impaired. In the case of the most vulnerable SMEs, this may affect insolvency assessments and lead some companies to cease trading altogether.”

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