Treasury unclear how it will use charities’ views on energy bills support

19 Oct 2022 News

by Glebovic / Adobe

The Treasury is unclear on how it will consider responses from charities, businesses and other organisations to a government consultation on energy bills support.

Last week, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) opened a consultation with organisations including charities on how the government should support them with energy bills from next March.

The government is currently discounting charities’ energy bills through its Energy Bill Relief Scheme until the end of March 2023, while BEIS’ consultation was due to feed into a previously-planned review into how support would continue post-March.

But the Treasury announced on Monday that it would run its own review into post-March support for charities and businesses and is now unclear whether responses to BEIS’ consultation will be considered.

Asked by Civil Society News whether it will use responses to the BEIS survey for its own review, a Treasury spokesperson said: “We’re protecting businesses from high energy bills this winter, caused by Putin’s devastating invasion of Ukraine.

“The Energy Bill Relief Scheme protects businesses from soaring energy costs and provides them with the certainty they need to plan through the acute crisis this winter.
“A Treasury-led review will consider how to support businesses from April 2023, targeting taxpayer’s money to the most vulnerable. We will update in due course.”

Sector bodies urge charities to respond

Charities are able to respond to BEIS’ survey until 30 October, the deadline for which was extended by six days today, and many sector bodies have encouraged organisations to share their views.

The BEIS survey includes a range of questions on organisations’ energy costs and usage, other costs and their expectations for the months ahead. 

NAVCA has published a guide for charities completing the survey, while the Charity Finance Group (CFG) has produce a checklist.

Clare Mills, director of policy and communications at CFG, said: “It’s vital that as many organisations as possible complete the BEIS survey.

“We’re providing a handy checklist to help social enterprises, charities, voluntary groups and community organisations do so. Please read, use and share – and let us know if there’s further information or guidance you’d have liked.”

Meanwhile, Nicole Sykes, director of policy and communications at Pro Bono Economics, tweeted: “It’s very important charities fill it out, but there are some questions here many charities will find odd. Suggest you have your last energy statement with you.”

Editor's Note: This article was updated after BEIS extended the deadline for its survey

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