Energy price cap welcome but more long-term help needed, say region's business leaders - The Rugby Observer

Energy price cap welcome but more long-term help needed, say region's business leaders

Rugby Editorial 24th Sep, 2022   0

MORE long-term help is needed to help companies survive beyond the winter, the region’s business leaders have warned.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) has, however, cautiously welcomed the capping of wholesale energy prices for businesses for the next six months.

The Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme will take effect from October 1 for all non-domestic energy customers in England, Scotland and Wales.

The scheme has set a cap of 21.1p per kWh for electricity, and 7.5pm per kWh for gas when the current wholesale prices for both are 60p and 18p respectively.

CWCC Chief Executive Corin Crane said: “Businesses are being tipped into losses as their energy bills go up, and are considering whether they are viable anymore, so we are pleased that the new government is taking the issue seriously.

“This intervention will help many businesses over the difficult winter period and we will be campaigning hard to make sure that this support package is extended beyond six months and until global prices have stabilised.”

He said the current energy cost crisis had highlighted the fragile nature of the UK energy supply and its dependence on ‘unsustainable’ fossil fuels.

He added: “We need huge investment in wind and solar generation at a national level and wherever possible we need to use UK suppliers to build and install this technology.

“We need financial support and planning flexibility for UK businesses to invest in onsite generation for their own supply and to enable them to put surplus green energy back into the system.

“Most importantly, in the West Midlands, we need proper devolved powers and budgets to deal with many of these issues ourselves.”

Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce, added: “This support package is significant and will ease the cost pressures that have been piling up on businesses. It will allow many firms that were facing closure, or having to lay off staff or reduce output, to keep going through the winter.

“For those that will benefit, six months support is not enough to make plans for the future. Without further reassurance, very few firms will make plans to invest or grow.

“To truly revitalise our economy for the difficult months ahead then there must be a clear long-term plan that gives business the confidence to grow.”

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