The Energy Bills Discount Scheme closed on 31 March 2024.

The Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) replaced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS).

Cloud reading about EBDS.

Firstly, what was the Energy Bill Relief Scheme?

The government's Energy Bills Discount Scheme (formally Energy Bill Relief Scheme) ended on 31 March 2024.

The EBRS provided a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers such as businesses, charities and the public sector.

The EBRS applied to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 December 2021, as well as to deemed, variable and flexible tariffs and contracts.

How is the Energy Bills Discount Scheme different?

On 9 January the government announced that the current EBRS will change from 1 April 2023 and become the EBDS that will run until 31 March 2024.

Under the new scheme, firms will get a discount on wholesale prices rather than costs being capped as under the current one. Heavy energy-using sectors, like glass, ceramics and steelmakers, will get a larger discount than others.

Who is eligible for the Energy Bills Discount Scheme?

As with the original scheme, suppliers, like us, will automatically apply EBDS reductions to the bills of all eligible customers. The EBDS applies to those who are:

  • On existing fixed price contracts that were agreed on or after 1 December 2021.

  • Signing new fixed price contracts.

  • On deemed* / out of contract or standard variable tariffs.

  • On flexible purchase or similar contracts.

  • On variable ‘Day Ahead Index’ (DAI) tariffs (Northern Ireland scheme only).

How much will the bills be reduced with EBDS?

As with the current scheme, the government will provide a discount on your gas and electricity unit prices. Eligible customers will now receive a per-unit discount to their energy bills during the 12 month period from April 2023 to March 2024, subject to a maximum discount.

The relative discount will be applied if wholesale prices are above a certain price threshold. For most non-domestic energy users in Great Britain and Northern Ireland these maximum discounts have been set at:

Electricity - £19.61 per megawatt hour (MWh) with a price threshold of £302 per MWh.

Gas - £6.97 per MWh with a price threshold of £107 per MWh.

The government says that the discount is calculated as the difference between the wholesale price associated with an energy contract and the price threshold.

The discount is phased in when the contract’s wholesale price exceeds the floor price, until the total discount per MWh reaches the maximum discount for that fuel.

Is there extra support for energy intensive businesses?

Some non-domestic energy users in Great Britain and Northern Ireland are particularly vulnerable to high energy prices due to their energy intensive and trade exposure, (referred to as Energy and Trade Intensive Industries or ETIIs).

These sectors will receive a higher level of government support, subject to a maximum discount. The maximum discounts and price threshold for these sectors are:

Electricity - £89 per MWh with a price threshold of £185 per MWh.

Gas - £40 per MWh with a price threshold of £99 per MWh.

The government has published a list of sectors eligible for the Energy and Trade Intensive Industries (ETII) scheme. Eligible ETII customers will have to apply for the higher level of support. Further details on how this will work and how to apply have been published by the government on their EBDS webpage. The government's online ETII application portal is now open. The deadline to apply for this higher level of support will be 25 July 2023 for the majority of non-domestic customers. If you believe your business or organisation is eligible and you have yet to apply, please do so now. By applying today, eligible organisations will be eligible for the higher level of support until 31 March 2024.

Your UK business or organisation should also be able to prove that at least 50% of its revenue is being generated from UK-based activity within one of the eligible SIC code sectors.

For Local Authorities, eligibility will be determined at a premise level. Where there are no relevant accounts, the Local Authority will be required to declare that at least 50% of the space is taken up by operations within an eligible sector.

Do I need to apply for the Energy Bills Discount Scheme?

You don’t need to apply, the EBDS will be automatically applied to eligible accounts. Only eligible ETII customers will have to apply for the higher level of support. Further details on how this will work and how to apply have been published by the government on their website. The government's online portal for applications from ETII and heat supplier customers is now open. The deadline to apply for ETII support is 25 July 2023.

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If you cannot apply online, contact the EBDS customer support team:

Email: support@ebds.beis.gov.uk

Telephone: 030 0400 5251 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm)

*Deemed customers: the discount/wholesale prices will be worked out differently, as there is no ‘agreed at’ date for their contract. Deemed discounts will be reviewed every three months (with the first period being  1 April 2023 to 30 June 2023. The reference wholesale price will be based on the average wholesale price across the previous quarter. For this first quarter, Deemed customers will not receive a discount as the reference wholesale prices for electricity and gas are below the threshold for support (Deemed wholesale prices for the first quarter are worked out as 13.9088p per kWh for electricity, and 4.5529p per kWh for gas, below the 30.2p electricity & 10.7p gas per kWh threshold respectively).