Business owners in Scotland have described the latest energy price cap announcement as a “huge relief”, but say further support will be crucial if they are to survive beyond winter.
Under the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, wholesale prices are expected to be fixed for all non-domestic energy customers at £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas.
The announcement has been largely welcomed by business figures across several industries, however bosses have warned of potential job losses and increased costs for customers when the scheme ends in April.
Fergus McCoss, co-founder of Glasgow-based Hinba Coffee Roasters, said the announcement was a “huge relief”, but believes additional support will be needed. He said: “The imposing energy price hike was causing us lots of stress. We found ourselves thinking of ways we could be smarter about our energy consumption.
“We considered changing the settings on our coffee machines and only using one of the decks on our double deck oven to save some money. We even thought about using candles in certain parts of the shop to avoid switching on as many lights.”
Edinburgh-based Cairngorm Coffee Roasters use gas-powered coffee roasters to roast around 250kg of coffee beans every week. Co-founder Harris Grant said that while the cap is welcome, he is still “very worried” about the impact of price increases.
“Rising costs off the back of covid will be seriously difficult for businesses to deal with,” he said. “While it’s good to have some certainty, at the end of the day, it’s still a cap on prices which are significantly higher than this time last year.”
Julie Dunn, operations manager at leading Scottish wholesaler Dunns Food and Drinks, said: “These measures give much-needed certainty to us and our customers, especially after a difficult few years.
“Whilst six months of support may not help all businesses, it does bring some relief within the retail and hospitality sectors to allow trading through the vital Christmas period. However, it’s important to stress this is not a silver bullet that is going to fix all the problems facing the sectors.