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The Treasury announced that relief will continue for businesses, but not to the extent it has been previously. The government will be providing support through a new transitional scheme termed the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS).

The current Energy Bill Relief scheme caps the unit cost of gas and electricity. This will not be the case by the end of March. The discount offered will now be on the wholesale price from April 1, 2023, until March 31, 2024.

The scheme provides a unit discount of £6.97 per megawatt hour on gas and £19.61 per megawatt hour on electricity unless businesses are already benefitting from discounted energy prices. As with the previous scheme, this discount will be applied to bills automatically for eligible customers. Further details on eligibility can be found on the government’s website, here.

The Fed’s National President Jason Birks said: “This is hugely disappointing for many independent retailers who are struggling to survive. With rising energy bills, falling margins, and rising payroll costs, small businesses will continue to struggle or, indeed, cease to exist unless additional financial support is available.”

The Fed will continue to work with the government to highlight the challenges independent retailers are facing amidst this cost-of-doing-business crisis.

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