The government will miss its deadline for outlining the next phase of energy-costs support for businesses, Jeremy Hunt has admitted.
In his Autumn Statement last month, the chancellor said that the Treasury-led review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) would be published by 31 December.
The review is considering the level of support that non-domestic energy customers should receive beyond 31 March 2023, when the EBRS is due to expire.
The EBRS, which was announced in September, provides six months of energy-costs support for non-domestic customers in line with the parallel package that limits average household bills to £2,500 per annum.
However, in the House of Commons yesterday, Hunt said that “early in the New Year” the government would bring forward “an appropriate package on what will happen from next April”.
Later, during Treasury question time, Hunt repeated that “early in the New Year we will announce how that support will continue after April.”
According to the Autumn Statement, the scale of support the government would offer via the EBRS post-March would be “significantly lower” and targeted at the “most affected” firms.
The Financial Times and Sunday Times reported last weekend that Hunt was due to announce a package this week that would give low-level universal support for power and heating bills to all companies when the EBRS ends.
It was also reported that extra targeted support would be provided to energy-intensive businesses, such as steelmakers, as well as other vulnerable sectors like hospitality.
A position paper, published last week by the Energy Intensive Users Group of heavy power users such as steel and cement makers, says much UK manufacturing may no longer be commercially viable unless the government extends its bills relief for firms when the EBRS ends.
Source : ConstructionNews