Churches are to be included in the government package of support to help with rising energy bills this winter.
According to the latest announcement, under the Energy Bill Relief Scheme wholesale prices are expected to be fixed for all non-domestic energy customers, including churches. Energy prices will be capped at £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas for six months from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023. This is about half the expected prices for this period, although still higher than prices prior to April this year.
It is understood the scheme will be reviewed after three months with an option to extend support for "vulnerable businesses" beyond March 2023 - but it is not known what organisations will be included as part of this extended support.
What do churches need to do to access support?
Churches do not need to contact their suppliers or apply to the government scheme, the support will automatically be applied to bills.
Savings will be seen from October bills, which are typically received in November. The scheme will apply to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022 as well as variable and flexible tariffs and contracts.
Rising energy prices have been a concern for everyone. Many individuals are struggling to meet the increased cost of living, care for their families and keep fed and warm. Churches are also faced with higher costs, the complexity of finding new energy contracts for some, and the need to support our congregations through incredibly difficult times.
Find out more on how to keep energy costs low for your church, submit a meter reading to get the best energy price before the cap rise, and apply for an energy audit from the diocese.
If you're struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, these resources may help.