The Road Ahead

Our analysis of the major opportunities and challenges facing the voluntary sector in 2024. Learn more

Managing your energy costs

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Use this page to learn about what support is available for managing energy costs and being energy efficient.

Keep up to date with the energy market

To help you understand what is going on in the energy market and plan ahead, our Trusted Supplier, Utility Aid, produces quarterly energy outlook reports. We've provided a summary of the July to September 2023 report below.

Gas prices rose by 250% between January and September 2021, as a result of a huge surge in demand following the pandemic.

2022 saw continued uncertainty linked to the halt of gas supply to Europe from Russia. A mild winter helped to reduce some of the impact of a 30% reduction in Europe’s energy supply.

Energy prices remain high. The UK is particularly vulnerable to rising gas prices because we rely on gas for electricity supply.

Hot weather in Europe is causing high demand for energy to cool nuclear energy plants. There are concerns about low energy supplies for winter and whether we can store enough.

A large proportion of your energy bill is made up of non-commodity costs (these are typically management or operational charges) - these include operating costs. National grid costs have increased, which may impact on a consumer level.

The government may also introduce a new renewable energy tax to recoup the cost of the energy bill support, which could add 4p/kwh (kilowatt hour) or more to bills from 2024.

Read the full energy outlook report for July to September 2023

Manage rising energy costs

The Energy Bills Discount Scheme

Basic discount

  • The scheme provides a baseline discount on energy bills for eligible, non-domestic customers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The scheme:
    • includes voluntary sector organisations and charities
    • runs from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.
  • Eligible organisations are 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 variable tariffs, or
    • on flexible purchase (or similar) contracts.
  • Support will automatically be applied to eligible bills. You don’t need to apply.
  • The discount will apply only if electricity and/or gas prices go over their respective thresholds.

Find out how the baseline discount is applied

Energy Trade and Intensive Industries discount

The government is providing further support to organisations deemed particularly vulnerable to high energy prices. This would be due to their high energy requirements and trade exposure.

  • You can apply for ETII support after 25 July 2023 if you became eligible after 26 April 2023.
  • If you were eligible to apply for this scheme on or before 26 April 2023, you cannot apply after 25 July 2023.

Find out if you can access ETII discount scheme support

Voluntary organisations the ETIIs scheme apply to are:

  • library and archive activities (SIC code 91.01)
  • museum activities (SIC code 91.02)
  • operation of historical sites and buildings and similar visitor attractions (SIC code 91.03)
  • botanical and zoological gardens and nature reserve activities (SIC code 91.04).

Find out more about the list of sectors who can use the Energy Trade and Intensive Industries discount scheme.

Apply for a discount as an Energy and Trade Intensive Industry

Heat network support

Heat networks supply heat to consumers from a central point. This heat runs through a network of underground pipes carrying hot water. They can either cover a large area or supply heat locally.

The Heat Network discount provides a higher level of support to heat networks with domestic end consumers - you need to apply for this support.

This will be relevant for some charities such as landlords charge for heating as part of the rent. This may include housing associations and care homes.

Apply for heat network support

Reduce your utility costs

Watch a clip from our webinar below which shares tips for keeping costs down in the energy crisis.

Run in partnership with SCVO (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations) and our Trusted Supplier, Utility Aid.

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Energy saving tips

Reducing your organisation’s energy consumption does not require big changes. You can start small. Here are some energy-saving tips from our Trusted Supplier, Utility Aid:

  1. Turn off appliances that are on standby mode. This could reduce your electricity consumption by an average of 2.5%.
  2. Check for draughts and report any cracks at work. Draught-proofing a building could reduce heating consumption by as much as 15%.
  3. Switch to energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs. You can reduce the amount of energy you use for lighting by 90%.
  4. Only boil the water you need. If everyone did this, we would save enough electricity a year to power the UK’s street lights for a month.

Become more energy efficient

Energy efficiency achieves desired levels of lighting, heating or cooling for minimum energy use, cutting down on waste energy.

Here are some ways your organisation can improve your energy efficiency:

Understand your energy usage

Utility Aid’s Remote Discovery Document Service allows you to make an educated decision on the implementation of energy-efficient measures.

The service includes a remote survey of your organisation’s building followed by recommendations on reducing your energy usage and waste.

Find out more about Utility Aid’s Remote Discovery Document Service

Alternatively, you can carry out an energy audit of your building so you can identify the most effective options for energy efficiency improvements.

Complete the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s Energy Survey

Appoint an Energy Champion

An energy champion can advocate energy efficiency throughout your organisation and can encourage co-workers, building users and stakeholders to adopt greener policies.

Find out how Utility Aid can support your Energy Champion

Engage with local Net Zero Hubs

These are regional hubs that support local authorities and communities to develop local net zero programmes and projects.

They also provide good practice guidance, tools, and resources, and act as a delivery body for a range of schemes.

Find out more about the 5 regional hubs and the support they offer:

Energy efficiency government funding

The government announced (at the Spring Budget) it will provide over £100 million of support for charities and community organisations in England.

This is to respond to increased demand and higher delivery costs.

Further details on the scheme and application process will be announced later this year.

How the energy efficiency funding will be used

A quarter of that funding, worth £25.5 million, will be used to fund measures over the next two years.

These measures will help the long-term energy and financial resilience of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.

The funding is expected to provide:

  • energy assessments and advice
  • capital grants for improvements that will make buildings and premises more energy efficient.

Grants to upgrade your boiler

The government offers capital grants to encourage property owners to replace existing fossil fuel heating with more efficient, low-carbon heating systems.

The grants:

  • offered are either £5000 or £6000
  • apply to homes or small non-domestic buildings in England and Wales.

Read GOV.UK guidance on the boiler upgrade scheme

Further guidance and support

Citizen Advice explains how you can get help with the cost of living.

Last reviewed: 24 August 2023

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This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 24 August 2023

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