Business groups, including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) have responded to Prime Minister Liz Truss’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) plan.
The EPG means that from 1 October a typical household will pay no more than £2,500 per year for each of the next two years. It comes in addition to the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme and also includes the temporary suspension of green levies.
The government said it would support all business, charities and public sector organisations with their energy costs this winter, offering an equivalent guarantee for six months.
Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at the CBI, said: ‘The devil will now be in the detail to come. Government, businesses and energy suppliers must work together to ensure the support pledged gets to firms quickly.
‘This energy crisis is not impacting all firms equally, so it’s encouraging that more targeted measures are to be introduced for businesses in sectors that are most at risk.’
Meanwhile, the FSB said that the EPG is a ‘huge relief for millions of small businesses’. Martin McTague, National Chair of the FSB, commented: ‘The toxic combination of uncapped energy hikes, high taxes, inflation and negative growth have become an existential threat for many.
‘Constricting the scale of energy bills for small businesses is unprecedented; we now have a high-level commitment in principle to help businesses get through the winter intact. Done right, this will be a lifeline – protecting jobs, communities and future economic recovery.’
The BCC stated that the new Prime Minister has ‘listened to firms’ and is providing a ‘strong package of support for business’. Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC, said: ‘We welcome the breadth of the offer to all non-domestic energy users with businesses, charities and public sector organisations all to be included.
‘The price cap is a measure the BCC has previously called for. It will give businesses some financial certainty on the outlook for the next six months.’