The British government has unveiled new support for farming and rural businesses facing surging energy bills this winter. The government will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all UK businesses via what is called the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
It means bills will be cut by around half their expected level this winter, with support applying to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022, as well as to deemed, variable and flexible tariffs and contracts. The support will apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, running for an initial six month period for all non-domestic energy users.
NFU President Minette Batters said the energy relief scheme would provide a 'much-needed cushion' for farming businesses. Given the package does not cover limits on standing charges, she said it was essential that the government continued to assess the full impact that energy bills would have on business confidence and production.
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said it 'welcomed' the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and the speed with which it's being rolled out. "It addresses the largest and most volatile cost pressure facing our industry right now," explained the body's CEO, Karen Betters. "Although some aspects of the scheme are still to be clarified, it offers relief to food and drinks manufacturers across the UK."
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