Out with the old, in with the new. On the 1st April, the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) ended, and non-domestic energy contracts have automatically been moved onto the newly announced Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS). This means that any school who signed their energy contract on/after the 1stDecember 2021 were already be on the EBRS and therefore have transitioned to the EBDS. Unlike its predecessor, the EBDS will instead run for 12 months (until March 2024), rather than 6.

However, despite their similar names, the EBDS is much less akin to the outgoing EBRS.

The important thing to remember is that this is no longer an energy price cap, rather a discount on energy unit rates.  This does unfortunately mean that the EBDS is far less supportive for schools. Despite this, it is still important to understand the new scheme in order to budget effectively in the new financial year. Here is how the EBDS works:

From April, your electricity bill discount is now limited to 1.961p per kWh, with a minimum price threshold of 30.2p per kWh, and your gas bill discount, limited to 0.697p per kWh, with a price threshold of 10.7p per kWh. If your unit rate is less than these thresholds, you will not be eligible for the discount.

It is important to note that the final per unit price paid by non-domestic customers will differ since it will also reflect other costs such as network charges and operating costs, plus the impact of competition between suppliers.

To find out more, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/energy-bills-discount-scheme