2022 proved to be a challenging year for businesses, with energy prices, inflation, and a turbulent economy contributing toward that. But the Hull & East Yorkshire Growth Hub is here to help. This webpage contains a wealth of information and guidance to help you access the support you need to deal with the energy crisis and the economic situation. It also contains a list of other organisations who provide information, guidance and funding in relation to energy use, energy efficiency, and net zero.
- Government support for Business Energy Bills
- Energy Crisis Webinars
- Other Support for Energy Bills & Energy Use
1. Government Support for Business Energy Bills
Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) (to 31 March 2023)
The EBRS is a UK Government scheme that helps to reduce the energy bills of businesses. Discounts will be applied to energy usage initially between 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023.
The scheme is available to any organisation on a non-domestic contract including:
- voluntary sector organisations, such as charities
- public sector organisations such as schools, hospitals and care homes
- on existing fixed price contracts that were agreed on or after 1 December 2021
- signing new fixed price contracts
- on deemed / out of contract or variable tariffs
- on flexible purchase or similar contracts
The discount is automatic. If you get a message asking for your bank details, this could be a scam.
Government will publish a review into the operation of the scheme in December 2022, to inform decisions on future support after March 2023.
Full details on the EBRS can be found on gov.uk here.
New “Energy Bills Discount Scheme” (from 31 March 2023)
On 9th January 2023 government announced a new energy scheme for businesses, charities, and the public sector, ahead of the current scheme ending in March. The scheme will mean that all eligible UK businesses and other non-domestic energy users will receive a discount on high energy bills until 31 March 2024.
A higher level of support will be provided to businesses in sectors identified as being the most energy and trade intensive – predominately manufacturing industries.
From 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, eligible non-domestic customers who have a contract with a licensed energy supplier will see a unit discount of up to £6.97/MWh automatically applied to their gas bill and a unit discount of up to £19.61/MWh applied to their electricity bill, except for those benefitting from lower energy prices.
A substantially higher level of support will be provided to businesses in sectors identified as being the most energy and trade intensive – predominately manufacturing industries. A long standing category associated with higher energy usage; these firms are often less able to pass through cost to their customers due to international competition. Businesses in scope will receive a gas and electricity bill discount based on a supported price which will be capped by a maximum unit discount of £40.0/MWh for gas and £89.1/MWh for electricity.
Energy Bill Discount Scheme Summary
For eligible non-domestic customers who have a contract with a licensed energy supplier, the government has announced the following support:
- From 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, all eligible non-domestic customers who have a contract with a licensed energy supplier will see a unit discount of up to £6.97/MWh automatically applied to their gas bill and a unit discount of up to £19.61/MWh applied to their electricity bill.
- This will be subject to a wholesale price threshold, set with reference to the support provided for domestic consumers, of £107/MWh for gas and £302/MWh for electricity. This means that businesses experiencing energy costs below this level will not receive support.
- Customers do not need to apply for their discount. As with the current scheme, suppliers will automatically apply reductions to the bills of all eligible non-domestic customers.
For eligible Energy and Trade Intensive Industries, the government is announcing:
- These businesses will receive a discount reflecting the difference between a price threshold and the relevant wholesale price.
- The price threshold for the scheme will be £99/MWh for gas and £185/MWh for electricity.
- This discount will only apply to 70% of energy volumes and will be subject to a ‘maximum discount’ of £40.0/MWh for gas and £89.1/MWh for electricity.
Full details on the EBRS can be found on gov.uk here.
2. Energy Crisis Webinars
HEY Growth Hub in partnership with the Yorkshire cluster of Growth Hubs has commissioned a series of webinars which will explain what you can do to reduce your energy costs and what support is available for businesses with energy bills.
These webinars will take place across February and March 2023, and include sector-specific sessions that will look at the steps and measures that businesses in different sectors can take to reduce their energy use.
The webinars are presented by David Knight, a Senior Environmental Consultant with a wealth of experience delivering practical, useful, and applicable advice and guidance to SME’s from a range of sectors.
Each webinar will run for approximately 90 minutes.
Details of these webinars can be found below.
- 2pm – 3.30pm Tuesday 28th February 2023 – The Energy Crisis – Understanding What To Do (book here)
- 2pm – 3.30pm Tuesday 6th March 2023 – The Energy Crisis – Understanding What To Do (book here)
- 2pm – 3.30pm Tuesday 14th March 2023 – Managing the Energy Crisis for Manufacturing & Engineering Businesses (book here)
- 2pm – 3.30pm Tuesday 21st March 2023 – Managing the Energy Crisis for Hospitality & Retail Businesses (book here)
- 2pm – 3.30pm Tuesday 28th March 2023 – Managing the Energy Crisis for Third Sector Businesses (book here)
Some energy crisis webinars ran in November and December 2022. These have been recorded and can be watched on “catch-up viewing” below.
General Overview Webinar
This webinar is aimed at businesses of any sector, and takes a look at the energy crisis, and explores what the UK Government is doing to support SME businesses. The webinar also covers utility bills, how businesses are charged, and key things to consider when reviewing your bills, and where to go for further advice.
The webinar can be viewed as follows:
Sector Focussed Webinars
These webinars cover the importance of energy management in the context of different business sectors, including the following topics:
- Understanding your energy needs and use of energy / Energy auditing
- Measuring and monitoring data
- How to use data to inform decision
- Basics of carbon footprints
- Low carbon technologies overview
- Communication and engagement
These webinars can be viewed as follows:
Managing the Energy Crisis for Hospitality and Retail Businesses
Managing the Energy Crisis for Agricultural Businesses
3. Other Support for Energy Bills & Energy Use
There are a number of support schemes and organisations that provide information, advice and funding to help businesses with the cost of energy, energy use and energy efficiency. We have listed some of these as follows.
Please note that some of these schemes and organisations may have specific eligibility criteria – for example type of business or location of business. Please visit their websites for more information. Please also note that the HEY Growth Hub is not responsible for the content of third-party sites.
Hull Business Energy Efficiency Scheme (HBEES)
The HBEES can help your business save energy and money.
Grant funding of up to £15,000 is available to help replace existing inefficient systems and equipment within your business, as well help with the installation of smart systems to help save energy.
Grants can be used to purchase the following items:
- LED lighting systems
- Smart heating systems
- Solar panels
- Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers
- Other equipment that will reduced energy use (subject to agreement)
To be eligible for HBEES, your business must:
- Currently pay business rates to Hull City Council
- Have fewer than 250 full time equivalent (FTE) employees
- Have an annual turnover of less than € 50 million, or a balance sheet of less than € 43 million
- Agree to have an on-site energy assessment and report.
To find out more and to apply, visit the HBEES website here.
Key Fund – Energy Resilience Fund
Key Fund provides finance to help community and social enterprises to start up, become sustainable, and to grow.
The Key Fund offers both flexible loans as well as blended grant and loan packages, and aims to remove barriers to finance for community and social enterprises.
The Key Fund has a time-limited offer to the end of 2022 to support community and social enterprises to install energy saving & cost reduction technology within their buildings. The maximum investment available is £150,000 with up to 40% of the loan value available as a grant. Loans are repayable up to 7 years with interest charged at 6.5% flat.
The Key Fund anticipate that the Energy Resilience Fund will cover:
- Building insulation
- New boiler installation
- Solar panel installation
To find out more and to apply, visit the Key Fund website here.
SME Climate Hub
The SME Climate Hub is a global initiative that empowers small to medium sized companies to take climate action and build resilient businesses for the future.
The SME Climate Hub offers information, advice and guidance to help small businesses reduce energy use, use cleaner forms of energy, and ultimately deliver on their climate goals.
The SME Climate Hub encourages businesses to:
- See where they stand – use the FREE carbon calculator measure emissions footprints
- Learn how to take action – take a FREE course on small business climate action
- Find resources & support – get extra help to plan and take action to reduce emissions and energy use
To find out more, visit the SME Climate Hub website here.
British Standards Institution (BSI)
Sponsored by the government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the BSI are offering a FREE give away of the BS ISO 50005 energy management standard.
The energy management standard will help you develop and implement an energy management system for your business. By implementing BS ISO 50005, your business could:
- Reduce energy costs
- Increase energy efficiency
- Stop wasting energy
- Operate more efficiently
The twelve key elements of the energy management standard are:
|Context of the organisation||Leadership||Resources||Energy review|
|Setting energy KPIs||Objectives & Energy Targets||Competence & awareness||Operations & maintenance|
|Procurement & design||Communication & document control||Monitoring & measurement||Management review|
For more information, and to download your free copy of the energy management standard, click here.
UKHospitality Energy Advice Guidance
UKH published energy advice, guidance and costs calculator for all businesses.
The guidance, which was previously a member exclusive, covers the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, which UKHospitality was instrumental in delivering through its engagement with government and demonstration of how hard hospitality would be hit by rising energy prices.
Also available to access is a Q&A to help businesses through the process and an energy calculator to help businesses budget for future energy costs.
Ofgem is the energy regulator for Great Britain. The Ofgem website contains dedicated webpages for business advice concerning energy. This includes:
- The different types of business energy contracts and how they work
- How to switch your business to a new energy tariff or supplier
- Getting help if your business cannot afford its energy bills
- Specific guidance for microbusinesses
- A guide on energy efficiency schemes and grants
To find out more, visit the Ofgem website here.
Energy Saving Trust
The Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation that works to address the climate emergency. The Trust is a respected voice on energy efficiency and clean energy solutions, and provides support to organisations to work toward a smart, decarbonised and decentralised energy system.
The Energy Saving Trust website feature a dedicated webpage for business advice on all aspects of energy efficiency and carbon reduction. This includes:
- Energy efficiency advice
- Options for installing renewable energy
- Digital tools
To find out more, visit the Energy Saving Trust website here.
Zero Carbon Business
Zero Carbon Business is a platform for advice on net zero for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It is a shared endeavour of the UK’s main business organisations, energy networks, high street banks and professional bodies.
The Zero Carbon Business website contains a wide range of information, guidance and tools to help businesses reduce energy costs and cut carbon. This includes:
- Understanding net zero and calculating carbon emissions
- Guides on energy efficiency, managing rising energy costs, and switching to renewable energy
- Sector and region specific guides to reducing energy use and costs
- Links to sources of funding and support
- Event listings
To find our more, visit the Zero Carbon Business website here.
Small Business Britain – Business For Good
Small Business Britain is delivering Business for Good: Green Skills for Small Business, in partnership with Oxford Brookes Business School, to help small businesses make a positive impact on the planet and society.
This free programme gives each entrepreneur vital information on key topics such as sustainable marketing, finance, accreditations, as well as discussing the fantastic opportunities that being a sustainable business can bring. The programme is open to all small businesses, including those who have previously completed Small Business Britain’s “sustainability basics” programme.
To find out more, visit the Small Business Britain website here.
Business Debt and Bankruptcy
Below is a full A to Z list of external resources available from the Gov.uk site. This includes information and guidance on bankruptcy, insolvency and recovering debt.
- Check if a company is being liquidated or in provisional liquidation
- Claiming money or property from a dissolved company
- Co-operate with the official receiver after your company has been liquidated
- Complain about a claims company
- Complain about an insolvency practitioner
- Contact the Insolvency Service
- County court judgments for debt
- Finance and support for your business
- Find an insolvency practitioner
- Get information about a company
- Late commercial payments: charging interest and debt recovery
- Make a court claim for money
- Make a money claim online
- Possession Claim Online: recover property
- Recover debt from elsewhere in the EU
- Report a disqualified director
- Report a loan shark
- Respond to a court claim for money
- Small Business Commissioner
- Wind up a company that owes you money