Jacob Rees-Mogg has hinted schools, hospitals and care homes will get energy support for longer than the initial six months outlined for all businesses.
The business secretary today said that “schools and hospitals and care homes are obviously going to be able to need to afford their energy in a year’s time”, while also emphasising the government’s commitment to supporting the state sector.
The government today announced plans to halve expected energy bills for businesses for six months, starting in October.
The package will see bills capped at £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas, which is less than half the expected cost this winter, while also removing green levies.
Schools, charities, hospitals and other non-domestic organisations are covered by the scheme.
When asked whether support could be extended past six months for the state sector, Rees-Mogg told Sky News: “This is a fundamental increase in costs across the economy and schools and hospitals and care homes are obviously going to be able to need to afford their energy in a year’s time as well as today.
“I can’t announce future schemes, it would be wrong to do so, but we need to make sure we use this time to find out where the support is needed.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) has said that some sectors will be given support beyond six months, but that this is subject to a review that will begin immediately.
It has been suggested that businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors will likely be eligible for the extension.
“We know that businesses are very concerned about the level of their energy bills,” Liz Truss said.
“That’s why we are putting in place a scheme for business that will be equivalent to the scheme for households to make sure that businesses are able to get through the winter.
Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), warned a measure to cap wholesale prices to energy supply companies “may not result in sufficient relief being extended to business customers, given that energy suppliers remain free to impose additional mark-ups such as network charges and operating costs, which are uncapped.”
“The net result of this could be a position where small businesses are still being asked to pay unaffordable energy bills of several hundred percent more than in previous years, which is clearly not sustainable,” he