Energy discount scheme extended – but fewer schools will benefit

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

Fewer schools will benefit the government’s new discount scheme for energy bills – however those still eligible can now count on support until the end of March 2024.

The current Energy Bill Discount Scheme for non-domestic customers runs until the end of March, but this week the Treasury announced an updated scheme to run for the next financial year (April 2023 to March 2024). This will once again cover schools.

Currently, schools are eligible for support (automatically applied to bills) if they are paying more than £75 per megawatt hour for gas or £211/MWh for electricity.

However, from April schools will only get help if they are paying at least £107/MWh for gas and £302/MWh for electricity. Those with energy costs below this level will not receive support.

The Treasury confirmed: “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.”

The Treasury has set a cap on the new scheme of £5.5bn – this as compared with the £18bn of support given under the current scheme.

The government says that wholesale gas prices have now fallen to levels last seen just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and have almost halved since the current scheme was announced.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Wholesale energy prices are falling. But to provide reassurance against the risk of prices rising again we are launching the new Energy Bills Discount Scheme.”

Mr Hunt has also written to Ofgem seeking an update on whether further action is needed to ensure energy companies are passing on the falling prices to customers. He added: “Even though prices are falling, I am concerned this is not being passed on to businesses.”

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