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BCC warns businesses will struggle to pay energy bills as relief scheme ends
03 April 2023

Business leaders are stepping up warnings that firms will struggle to pay energy bills as the government relief scheme ends.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said businesses face an 85% decrease in energy support as the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) came to an end over the weekend. The business group called for targeted help for firms who “desperately” need it.

Alex Veitch, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the BCC said: “We have been signalling for months that many businesses will struggle to afford their energy bills when the financial envelope of support reduces by 85%, with many receiving a fraction of their original support.

“The seven energy policies we advocated for the Government to include in this month’s spring Budget, not one was acted upon. Flexibility to increase support for those who desperately need it – ignored. Easing the burden of claiming VAT on energy – ignored. Funding for improved business energy efficiency – ignored. And so the list goes on.

“The Government also failed to heed our calls to increase regulation of the business energy sector.”

The BCC also called on the Government to ensure that Ofgem has the necessary powers to “properly regulate” the industry. The chambers group added that as well as the reduction in energy support, businesses are facing several other changes from tomorrow including increases in corporation tax and the national living wage.

“These changes will have a significant impact, but Government is yet to offer any meaningful support to offset the challenges currently facing so many UK businesses,” added Veitch.

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