P449 ‘Non-domestic Energy Bill Relief Scheme’
Formal title: Energy Bill Relief Scheme for non-domestic customers
This Modification seeks to enable Elexon (BSCCo) to act as the payment provider for the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme for non-domestic electricity customers. The intention of the subsidy would be to reduce non-domestic consumer tariffs in light of the recent rises in energy costs.
European energy prices have increased dramatically, following the ending of lockdown and the gas crisis initiated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Further rises are expected in the future and, as we approach winter, there are concerns over the number of businesses who may not be able to afford energy costs, resulting in potential for insolvencies and loss of jobs. The increase in wholesale energy costs could also have wider economic impacts, such as the impact on inflation. It is also possible that the increased energy costs could cause further Supplier failures.
As a result of these concerns the Government has proposed the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) for non-domestic customers, with discounts applied to energy usage initially between 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023. The intention is for Elexon to act as the EBRS electricity payment provider.
The activities that Elexon is permitted to undertake are outlined in BSC Section C ‘BSCCo and its Subsidiaries’. Currently, the activities stipulated in BSC Section C do not include provisions for the EBRS scheme. The proposed solution is to make changes to BSC Section C to extend the vires for Elexon. The amendment would have to allow Elexon to undertake a new non-settlement related function as payment provider for the scheme.