Government Supports for Non-Domestic Customers

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21st October 2022

Government Supports for Non-Domestic Customers

The UK Government has introduced a range of supports for non-domestic energy customers starting this winter.

Energy Bill Relief Scheme

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) is a new six-month scheme for businesses and other non-domestic energy customers. The EBRS provides a support discount which will be applied for six months, covering consumption from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023. You will see the EBRS support discount on your bill from 1 November onwards, but backdated adjustments will be applied for any consumption during October.

The support discount applied will be in pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) and your savings will be based on how much energy you use.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know if I am eligible for the scheme?

All business customers and contract types are eligible to receive these supports where:

  • You’re on an existing fixed priced contract issued on or after 1 December 2021
  • You’re an existing customer signing a new fixed price contract
  • You’re on a variable tariff contract
  • You’re on a flexible tariff contract where the energy purchase can be fixed
  • You’re signing up to SSE Airtricity as a new customer. Your discount will depend on when your contract is issued

If the expected energy supplied to your business under your contract is greater than 0.5GWh over 12 months from 1 October 2022 or exceeds 0.5MW at any time during your contract period, the level of support provided may be impacted. You must contact us if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have financial arrangements in place, otherwise than in your supply contract, to limit exposure to wholesale prices (e.g. financial instruments, balancing services, energy export arrangements)
  • You use gas supplied under your supply contract to generate electricity that is delivered onto the grid
  • You store electricity supplied under your supply contract that is delivered to the grid
  • You make energy under your supply contract available to an end user at premises outside of Northern Ireland

The scheme is in place to provide relief on energy bills. The government will be monitoring to ensure that no supplier or end customer abuses the scheme and may reduce support or introduce penalties if it is found that suppliers or consumers are profiting from them scheme

For more information on eligibility criteria for this scheme please click here.

How will I receive this support?

The support discounts will automatically apply to eligible customer bills.

When will I see this support apply to my bill?

Business Energy customers will have the support discount (EBRS) automatically applied to their bill. The EBRS discount will appear as a line item on your bill PDF, starting from 1 November 2022.
Where your business has been billed for part of or all of October, before the 1 November, these customer invoices will be cancelled, and the adjustment will be applied to your next bill.

How are the rates calculated?

The rates applicable to your contract are dependent on the contract type and when your contract was issued. For more information on how these rates are calculated, please click here

Why are there different rates?

For fixed priced contracts, the discount will reflect the difference between the Government Supported Price (a baseline wholesale price set by the Government) and the actual wholesale price on the day that your contract is or was issued.

The Government will publish their baseline wholesale prices to be used when calculating your support discount rate for each day from 1 December 2021. To view these published wholesale prices click here.

For variable and flexible contracts, the discount will reflect the difference between the Government Supported Price and relevant wholesale price and is subject to a ‘maximum discount’ (34.5p per kWh for electricity and 9.1p per kWh for gas).

What is the Government Supported Price?

The Government Supported Price is a baseline wholesale price set by the Government. This Government Supported Price sets the price floor for the EBRS scheme. This means that the effective retail unit price for a customer’s gas and electricity does not fall below the Government Supported price for each utility once the support discounts have been applied.

What is the Discounted Supply Price?

The discounted supply price is the new price you will pay p/kWh of electricity or gas on your bill. This is the sum of the total charge at your SSE Airtricity rate minus the EBRS discount.

In the example below:

  • The customer has consumed 384kWh in their current billing period. The total charge for this would be £164.35
  • The customer is entitled to the EBRS credit on 139.64kWh, giving a total credit of £30.30.
  • The discounted supply price on this bill is £134.05 (£164.35 – 139.64)

Is there a cap on the amount of electricity I will pay?

The price you pay per unit of electricity is capped under this scheme. Your overall bill amount is not capped and will depend on how much energy you use.

Is there a cap on how much support I will receive?

For variable and flexi price customers the support is subject to a maximum discount of 34.50 p/kWh.

In the example below, the Government Supported price (Price Floor) is set at 21.10p per kWh.

For Fixed Priced customers the discount is dependent on the day your contract was issued and the Government Supported Price set for that date.

In the example below, the Government Supported Price (Price Floor) is set at 21.10 pence per kWh.

How often will my discount per kWh change?

The government will publish a review into the operation of the scheme in early 2023, to inform decisions on future support after March 2023. The review will focus in particular on identifying the most vulnerable non-domestic customers and how the government will continue assisting them with energy costs. These are likely to be those who are least able to adjust, for example by reducing energy usage or increasing energy efficiency.

I have Electricity and Gas supply at my Business. Am I entitled to a discount on both utilities?

The discount per kWh is set separately for gas and electricity. Eligible customers will receive discounts on both utilities.

Where can I find more information about the scheme?

For more information on how the Government is supporting non-Domestic customers click here.

What rate will I be charged when the scheme ends?

The scheme will be in place for an initial six-month period. When the scheme ends, you will revert to the SSE Airtricity rate applicable to your contract at that time.

Does the EBRS guarantee that SSE Airtricity variable rate will not increase during this 6-month period?

While we don’t know what energy markets will do in the future, we will continue to keep a close eye on all our costs. The EBRS doesn’t protect suppliers against increases in the wholesale market and therefore does not guarantee that prices will not fluctuate based on market activity. However, customers will benefit from up to the maximum support discount as set by the UK Government.

I run a business from my home. What Scheme am I entitled to?

Eligible businesses will receive Government support through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS). Domestic customers will receive Government support through the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG). 

What other supports are available?

If you need help paying a bill, we can arrange a payment plan if you need one. You can also take proactive steps now to reduce your energy consumption. We provide a full range of energy saving advice, tips and programmes to help you control your energy use at www.sseairtricity.co.uk/business/energy-solutions


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