The Government has announced a new energy bills discount scheme (EBDS) for UK businesses, set to replace the current energy bills relief scheme (EBRS) once it ends in March.

The new support package will last from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, giving organisations a discount on high wholesale prices instead of capping energy costs. This means that firms will benefit from support in proportion to their usage.

As with the current scheme, eligible organisations do not need to apply for the discount and will automatically receive reductions to their bills.

Businesses in industries with particularly high energy usage and trade intensity, such as manufacturing, will receive a “substantially higher” level of support.

According to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, this reduced level of support will help bring down inflation while providing as much aid to businesses struggling with soaring energy bills as possible.

The Chancellor has also written to energy watchdog Ofgem to see if further action is needed to prevent energy companies from passing costs onto businesses.

Commenting on the downgrade of energy support, the Treasury said: “The Government has been clear that such levels of this support, unprecedented in its nature and huge scale, were time-limited and intended as a bridge to allow businesses to adapt.”