New research from nPower Business Solutions finds that nearly three quarters of brokers reckon the government’s Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) isn’t doing enough to help firms battle rocketing bills.

More than eight out of ten – 84% – of power intermediaries and advisors report energy costs are now a board-level problem for their clients.  Brokers believe chancellor Jeremy Hunt and energy security secretary Claire Coutinho should be tabling longer term support than the existing EBDS, which is scheduled to end in April.

The numbers come in a new poll of a panel of more than 50 energy brokers. It adds to insights gathered earlier this year from over 100 end-using companies, reporting into nPower’s unique Business Energy Tracker.

In April this year, the government brought in its Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) as a twelve-month replacement for its earlier, more generous bill relief scheme.

Now over 70% of energy brokers judge the EBDS as too short-lived and inadequate in the support it provides.

The views of the brokers and intermediaries surveyed echoed those of businesses, with both saying that long-term support to help businesses reduce overall energy demand needs to be a top government priority.

On future costs of energy, almost three quarters (72%) of businesses surveyed earlier this year believed that they would continue to increase, with businesses anticipating that the cost of energy will keep rising.   As wholesale prices began stabilising in the spring, brokers were slightly more optimistic, with 42% believing they would decrease slightly.

Anxiety over the cost of funding and delivering Britain’s Net Zero transition remains high, with 95% of end-users and 87% of brokers saying they are have concerns about the potential economic impact on businesses.

nPower Business Solutions‘ chief operating officer Anthony Ainsworth observed:

“This updated edit of our Business Energy Tracker now represents the collective voice of business when it comes to energy, risk and the impact on business confidence. What it reveals is that energy continues to be a C-suite concern, with no signs of stopping”.

“As a result, both the TPIs and businesses we surveyed said that they believe the government needs to offer more long-term support to help businesses.

Advisors and brokers had stronger views than end user customers on the levels of help offered so far, Ainsworth noted.  While only 13% of end users believe nothing is being done at policy level, that figures rises to 23% of TPIs.

Read the report here.


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