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Hospitality firms face 101% energy bill hike

UK hospitality businesses expect a 101% increase in energy bills during the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same period last year, according to a new survey.

Hospitality energy bills
Hospitality businesses are facing “unsustainable hikes in their energy bills”

Trade bodies UK Hospitality, British Beer and Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping, and Hospitality Ulster, revealed the results from their joint Q1 Hospitality Members Survey.

UK Hospitality’s chief executive, Kate Nicholls, highlighted the figures to politicians while giving evidence at a BEIS Strategy Committee session on energy price support.

In a joint statement, the organisations said: “Hospitality businesses and representatives have consistently warned that the exclusion of the sector from additional energy support means venues are facing unsustainable hikes in their energy bills.

“These survey results reinforce those warnings, demonstrating the extent of this energy devastation on venues with bills set to almost double as a result of support significantly reducing. Arriving on top of the 101% increase compared to this time last year, the hit to the sector could not come at a worse time.”

The poll found that 56% reported increased standing charges from energy suppliers.

Furthermore, the rise in bills has caused a ‘significant’ impact on trading, with 42% of businesses reducing opening hours per day and 34% cutting the number of days they open every week.

The statement continued: “Despite continually raising the alarm over energy suppliers’ unscrupulous behaviour during this crisis, we continue to see these companies relentlessly pursue excess profits at the expense of hard-working businesses and undermining the government’s significant investment.”

The trade groups called on the government to ‘rein in’ suppliers and their ‘poor conduct’ and ‘unlock hospitality’s potential’ in the spring budget on 15 March.

The statement concluded: “The dramatic increases we are seeing in energy prices shows the desperate need for support and investment in hospitality, if our sector is to survive the current crisis and go on to deliver consistent economic growth, create jobs and reinvest in our local communities.”

More than two-fifths of night-time businesses are losing money or barely breaking even as the UK’s new Energy Relief Scheme will have ‘no impact’, according to a poll by the Night Time Industries Association.

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