UK Government Unveils New 'Energy Bills Discount Scheme' for Businesses

This week the UK Government announced a new “Energy Bills Discount Scheme” for UK businesses, charities, and the public sector from April 2023. The scheme comprises two elements – support for all businesses, charities, and public sector organisations, and support at a higher level for energy and trade-intensive industries. Critically, many attraction types are included in this latter group of eligible sectors, including museums, libraries and archives, historical sites and buildings, and zoos. 

The new scheme will mean all eligible UK businesses and other non-domestic energy users will receive a per-unit discount on high 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 in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 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.

As members will be aware, the UK Government is providing a package of support for non-domestic users through this winter, worth £18 billion per the figures certified by the OBR at the Autumn Statement. The new scheme has a cap set at £5.5 billion.  

Eligible organisations will need to apply for the higher level of support. Further guidance can be found here.  

ASVA is, of course, pleased that many attraction types are included in the list of eligible businesses for the higher levels of support, however there is also disappointment that the UK Government is reducing the current levels of support provided to businesses. We will continue to argue forcibly that further support for those in our sector facing huge energy cost hikes this year is paramount if we are to avoid further harm to the sector.