ACS welcomes new Energy Bill Relief Scheme

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed the new Energy Bill Relief Scheme, which will support thousands of local shops and other non-domestic businesses for six months from October.

Through the new Government Energy Bill Relief Scheme, the Government will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all UK businesses, whose current gas and electricity prices have been significantly inflated in light of global energy prices. This support will be equivalent to the Energy Price Guarantee put in place for households.

It will apply to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022, as well as to deemed, variable and flexible tariffs and contracts. It 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. The savings will be first seen in October bills, which are typically received in November.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said, “We strongly welcome the Government’s support package which will provide a lifeline for the UK’s local shops, enabling them to keep trading and serving their communities.

“We will continue to work closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on longer term solutions to the energy crisis facing convenience stores and other businesses, including ways to incentivise investment in energy efficient technology.”

ACS has previously called on the Government to introduce a support scheme for local shops which mirrors that being introduced in the domestic market, and will continue to work with the Government and energy regulator Ofgem to ensure that small businesses are treated in the same way as domestic customers when it comes to energy contracts.

The government will be reviewing the operation of the scheme in three months to inform decisions on future support after March 2023.