Delay confirmed for energy support decision

The long-awaited announcement on the continuation of energy support for businesses beyond March 2023 has now been delayed until the new year, says the Treasury

An update on the level of support that would be provided beyond the six-month period had been expected before Christmas, but this has now been delayed until early 2023.

“FWD has been making the case for support on energy bills for food and drink wholesalers supplying into public sector as well as vulnerable and rural communities,” said James Bielby, Chief Executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors.

“With the cost of doing business continuing to soar, ongoing help with energy bills would provide vital support for wholesalers who face a difficult start to 2023. The government has consistently said the bar for support is set very high but it is positive that they are taking the time to examine the evidence in detail before making an announcement, although continued uncertainty is unhelpful for businesses whose costs continue to rise.”

A Treasury spokesperson said: “We are protecting businesses from high energy costs this winter, caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, through the six-month £18bn Energy Bill Relief Scheme. However, this is very expensive, and we need to ensure longer-term affordability and value for money for the taxpayer.

“That is why we are currently carrying out a review with the aim of reducing the public finances’ exposure to volatile international energy prices from April 2023. We will announce the outcome of this review in the New Year to ensure businesses have sufficient certainty about future support before the current scheme ends in March 2023.”

energy Energy Bill Relief Scheme FWD Government James Bielby