Updated 1st September 2023
The UK Government has announced a new ‘Energy Bills Discount Scheme’, which will replace the current ‘Energy Bill Relief Scheme’ that ended in March 2023.
Set to come into effect on 26th April 2023, the new Energy Bills Discount Scheme will (retrospectively) run from 1st April 2023 – 31st March 2024, to help support businesses with the cost of wholesale energy for an additional 12 months.
The EBDS proposal contains 3 types of discounts – baseline, Energy and Trade Intensive Industry (ETII) discount, and Heat Networks (QHS) discount.
For the baseline discount, eligible non-domestic consumers will receive a per-unit discount to their electricity bills during the 12-month period, subject to a maximum discount, and those in energy intensive sectors are set to receive a higher level of support.
The new scheme will see a big reduction in the amount of discount being offered to businesses compared to EBRS and for many eligible businesses the discount looks likely to fall below 2p per kWh.
The eligibility for the scheme has been defined by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) as follows:
Everyone on a non-domestic contract including:
- voluntary sector organisations, such as charities
- public sector organisations such as schools, hospitals and care homes
- on deemed/out of contract or variable tariffs: the baseline discount looks likely to be set at zero at present and the Government will update the discount quarterly.
- on fixed price contracts: as with EBRS, this is based on the date the contract was signed (you can find this on the final page on your contract) and only customers with contracts signed after December 2021 are eligible. Please be aware that the discount may still be set at zero.
- on flexible purchase or similar contracts: any discount applied will depend on your wholesale energy price.
You can see the recently published discount rates here.
If you are eligible for the EBDS baseline discount, you will not have to take any action or apply to receive support. We will apply your discount automatically in line with the Government’s guidelines and this will be clearly included on your monthly energy bill, subject to the required legislation being in place.
Energy and Trade Intensive Industries discount
The ‘Energy and Trade Intensive Industries’ (ETII) is an additional discount introduced by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) for businesses in energy and trade intensive industries.
This higher discount will be available to specific businesses on their energy bills. To check whether you are eligible, you can review the applicable SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) codes, here.
Whilst the original deadline for the Energy and Trade Intensive industry (ETII) discount was 25th July, if you have since become eligible after 26th April 2023, or were previously eligible and have since switched suppliers, please notify the The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) so that they can update your records. DESNZ will then determine whether your business qualifies. We will then be in touch with you within 10 working days of DESNZ notifying us of your eligibility, with further details of your discount.
Qualifying Heat Suppliers discount
‘QHS’ stands for ‘Qualifying Heat Suppliers’ discount. This discount is extra to the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) and is available to Qualifying Heating Networks (QHNs). The discount is payable for QHNs that have domestic properties within their network.
Whilst the original deadline for the Qualifying Heat Suppliers (QHS) discount was 25th July, if you have since become eligible after 26th April 2023, or were previously eligible and have since switched suppliers, please notify the The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) so that they can update your records. DESNZ will then determine whether your business qualifies. We will then be in touch with you within 10 working days of DESNZ notifying us of your eligibility, with further details of your discount.
Please note that Heat Networks with domestic end consumers will be required by law to apply for this support and pass on the benefit they receive to their end consumers.
If you cannot apply online, or have any questions about these discounts, please get in touch with DESNZ’s EBDS customer support team on:
Telephone: 030 0400 5251
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
You can learn more about the new scheme on the Government’s website, here. You can also find our comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions, here, or you can get in touch with our friendly customer service team at email@example.com.