In the current cost of living crisis, it is more than disheartening to hear that the event industry has been excluded from the government’s new ‘Energy Support Scheme’. With attractions such as museums, zoos, and historic buildings all qualifying for the additional help, it feels like a double hit for other types of businesses looking to host events.
To help address the unbalance, this article will provide a rundown of what the Energy Support System involves, who is eligible, and how the impact of the event industry being excluded can be minimised.
What is the Energy Support Scheme?
The government has announced an Energy Support Scheme that will begin on 1 April 2023 and is expected to run for one year until 31st March 2024.
The Energy Support Scheme will replace the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme that currently offers a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices to non-domestic customers – but was only ever planned to be a temporary six-month measure.
According to the Government’s website, the Energy Support Scheme will ‘strike a balance between supporting businesses over the next 12 months and limiting taxpayer’s exposure to volatile energy markets’. It lays out a discount scheme for eligible businesses, subject to certain limits.
The Energy Support Scheme offers most non-domestic energy users in Great Britain and Northern Ireland the following discounts:
- Electricity discount with a maximum of £302 per MWh (capped at £19.61/ MWh)
- Gas discount with a maximum of £107 per MWh (capped at £6.97/MWh)
Eligibility for the Energy Support Scheme
The Energy Support Scheme is being offered to businesses and both voluntary and public sector institutions such as care homes and hospitals that have a domestic contract. To be eligible you also must be:
- on an existing fixed-price contract that was agreed on or after 1 December 2021
- signing a new fixed-price contract
- on deemed / out-of-contract or standard variable tariffs
- on flexible purchase or similar contract
- on variable ‘Day Ahead Index’ (DAI) tariffs (Northern Ireland scheme only)
Why is the event industry excluded?
Although it could be assumed that the event industry would be included given the eligibility criteria listed above, the events industry will be excluded from the Energy Support Scheme because it has been deemed not ‘trade intensive’ enough. The Government have argued that by prioritising the support of heavy manufacturing, advanced earnings be obtained from exports.
What can you do to minimise the impact of the exclusion?
If you are a business in the events industry that has been excluded from the Energy Support Scheme, then you will want to be focusing on reducing the amount of energy that your business uses.
Significantly, by doing this, you are also improving the sustainability of your event industry business. Reducing your business’s energy consumption and/or making a switch to renewable energy sources reduces the demand for fossil fuels which is always a positive thing! Environmentally friendly and sustainable event practice is a big current trend in the event management industry so you would not only be reducing your energy costs but also remaining current in the events industry.
Beyond sustainability, here are a few tips to help you reduce your energy costs, and therefore minimise the impact of the events industry being excluded from the Energy Support Scheme.
Check to see if your event venues use a green energy supplier. If they do not, is there any way that you can encourage the venue to switch to a more sustainable option?
Lower the Demand for Power
You can lower the demand for power being used at your events by:
- Putting an energy usage quota in place for your participants
- Use energy-efficient equipment
- Enforce the use of low-wattage lighting at your event
- Try a ‘Switch Off’ campaign
Analyse energy usage patterns
Keep on top of your event’s key sustainability indicators. This involves auditing all power consumption, ensuring that you receive energy consumption readings from the event, and analysing the usage patterns in order to set goals for improvement in future events.
If you work in the event industry and feel like you might be impacted by the exclusion from the Government’s Energy Support Scheme, then we hope that this article has been helpful in answering any queries you might have.
Should you wish to stay up to date with the events industry as a whole and find out more about current event industry trends beyond event sustainability and sustainable event best practices, then check out this article on 10 event industry trends to look out for in 2023. The event industry trends range from easier-to-use event technology to an increased emphasis on networking, and even an increased awareness of health and wellness as it applies to the event industry.