Energy Crisis for schools: is 6 months enough?

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11 October, 2022

Gemma Duxbury

Schools have concerns that the six-month support scheme relating to energy prices extended to them by Government will not be enough. Many schools have already committed to fixed term energy contracts with suppliers, and they do not know how this scheme will assist in those circumstances.

Government support

The new Energy Bill Relief Scheme will provide a discount to schools from 1st October 2022.

The discount will be available to public sector organisations, such as schools, on existing fixed price contracts agreed on or after April 1 2022.

They will also apply to those signing new fixed-price contracts, those on "deemed" or out of contract or variable tariffs, and those on flexible purchase or similar contracts.

Those contracts which were signed on before the 1st April 2022 will not be eligible to receive support under the Government scheme as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, BEIS states that they "would not have been exposed to the recent rises in wholesale prices".

The initial scheme will run for six months but will be reviewed after three months. BEIS have confirmed that after the six months, there will be a targeted system focused on the most vulnerable industries.

Contracts signed before 1st April

Those schools which have signed fixed term energy before 1st April 2022, should review the terms and conditions of their existing contracts and explore whether the contract allows them to terminate or vary the contract. Schools should also attempt to renegotiate their existing contract with their current energy supplier.

For more information contact Gemma Duxbury in our Education department via email or phone on 0333 207 4239. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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