Energy Bills Discount Scheme: help for businesses and other non-domestic customers
The Government has announced a new Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) from April 2023 to April 2024 for eligible non-domestic consumers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The current Energy Bill Relief Scheme announced in September comes to an end in March 2023. It supports businesses and public sector organisations such as schools and hospitals by providing a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices.
Eligible non-domestic customers facing significantly inflated gas and electricity prices in light of global price pressures, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have benefitted from the discount since 1 October 2022.
On 17 October it was announced that an HM Treasury-led review of the scheme would determine support beyond March 2023.
The government has stated that current levels of support were time-limited and intended as a bridge to allow businesses to adapt. Wholesale gas prices have now fallen to levels just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and have almost halved since the current scheme was announced. The EBDS therefore attempts to strike a balance between supporting businesses over the next 12 months and limiting taxpayer’s exposure to volatile energy markets, with a cap set at £5.5 billion based on estimated volumes.
As per the current scheme the government will provide a discount on your gas and electricity unit prices. Eligible non-domestic consumers will now receive a per-unit discount to their energy bills during the 12-month period from April 2023 to March 2024, subject to a maximum discount. The relative discount will be applied if wholesale prices are above a certain price threshold. For most non-domestic energy users these maximum discounts have been set at:
- electricity – £19.61 per megawatt hour (MWh) with a price threshold of £302 per MWh.
- gas – £6.97 per MWh with a price threshold of £107 per MWh
The discount is calculated as the difference between the wholesale price associated with an energy contract and the price threshold. The discount is phased in when the contract’s wholesale price exceeds the floor price, until the total discount per MWh reaches the maximum discount for that fuel.
Recognising that some non-domestic energy users are particularly vulnerable to high energy prices due to their energy intensive and trade exposure, (referred to as Energy and Trade Intensive Industries or ETIIs), these sectors will receive a higher level of support, subject to a maximum discount. The maximum discounts and price threshold for these sectors are:
- electricity – £89 per MWh with a price threshold of £185 per MWh
- gas – £40 per MWh with a price threshold of £99 per MWh
The government expects suppliers to contact non-domestic customers over the coming weeks to advise them of the implications of the scheme.
Latest HMRC tax webinars for the self-employed
Listed below are a number of live HMRC webinars that will give the self-employed an understanding of key taxes that affect them and also help employers with payroll.
The webinars are free and last around an hour.
Business expenses for the self-employed
Fri 20 Jan at 1:45pm
The Trust Registration Service and reporting discrepancies
Mon 6 Feb at 9:45am
Overview of the new VAT late submission, late payment penalties and interest charges
Fri 17 Feb at 11:45am
How to apply the VAT reverse charge for construction services
Thu 23 Feb at 11:45am
Expenses and benefits for your employees – trivial benefits
Wed 1 Feb at 11:45am
Statutory Sick Pay
Fri 3 Feb at 9:45am
Expenses and benefits for your employees – travel
Mon 6 Feb at 11:45am
Statutory Maternity and Paternity Pay
Tues 7 Feb at 11:45am
Expenses and benefits for your employees – company cars, vans and fuel
Wed 8 Feb at 11:45am
Expenses and benefits for your employees – phones, internet and homeworking
Tue 14 Feb at 11:45am
Expenses and benefits for your employees – social functions and parties
Thu 16 Feb at 9:45am
Grow your international sales with the UK Export Academy
The UK Export Academy is a free training programme, delivered through a hybrid of online and face-to-face learning.
The UK Export Academy is open to any business in the UK who has a product or service that can be sold internationally. It is for businesses who know that they want to reach international customers and contracts in the future, as well as those who might already be selling beyond the UK and want to expand into new markets.
From introductory sessions to specific sector workshops, the UK Export Academy has hours of content available for all SMEs across the UK. All you have to do is sign up and create your personalised account. Then you can pick and choose your preferred content.
Creative Catalyst 2023
UK registered micro and small businesses in the creative industries sector, can apply for funding up to £50,000 with a package of support to grow their business.
The aim of this competition is to support business innovation within the creative industries by providing a package of targeted and continuous support to help businesses to grow.
Your project must:
- be related to and for the benefit of the creative industries in the UK;
- demonstrate a clearly innovative and ambitious idea;
- be new to your business, with a demonstrable impact to your growth plan;
- create a new revenue stream, for example new products, services or IP;
- respond to the changing market conditions, such as new modes of audience consumption, or the adoption of new technologies within the sector;
- be market ready within 12 months of receiving support; and
- demonstrate value for money.
The competition closes at 11am on 15 February 2023.
Preventing work-related stress: the leading cause of illness at work
Stress, anxiety and depression is the biggest cause of work-related illness in Great Britain and numbers continue to rise.
According to the latest statistics (PDF) there were 914,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/22. 17 million working days were lost due to stress in this period.
The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) stress website has plenty of advice and includes examples of stress risk assessments tailored to different business sizes, as well as case studies and much more. The stress talking toolkit shows how line managers can have simple, practical conversations with employees to help prevent stress at work.
Their Working Minds campaign aims to prevent work-related stress and encourage good mental health. The latest episode of the HSE Podcast discusses the importance of working in partnership to prevent work-related stress and to promote good mental health.