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ENERGY CRISIS AVERTED? 
9/21/22

Music venues and nightclubs across the U.K. have welcomed a six-month cap on energy costs from the Government, while also warning of potential gaps in support. 

For non-domestic users, electricity prices are expected to be capped at £211 per megawatt hour, and gas prices at £75. The cap will run from 10/1 to 3/31 and is said to be less than half of the wholesale prices that were anticipated this winter.

Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust, said the intervention appears, at face value, to “comprehensively tackle the immediate short term energy crisis for grassroots music venues.” According to MVT, venues were being faced with the threat of permanent closure due to energy bills rising by at least 300%.

In addition to the cap, MVT is calling for support for venue suppliers, which it says are facing “extraordinary financial pressures resulting from the cost of living crisis and the COVID period.” On Friday, a statement from the Chancellor will reveal whether calls for a reduction on VAT and business rates have been heard. 

Longer term, MVT is asking the Government to work with the org to “secure affordable, sustainable and resilient energy for the sector.” 

“There is a big opportunity presented by this crisis to support a radical intervention into energy supply and demand and we strongly urge the government to use the period of protected energy prices to bring forward plans to permanently tackle the causes of the energy crisis.”

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, also welcomed the news but raised concern over costs that remain uncapped. “Energy suppliers remain free to impose additional mark-ups such as network charges and operating costs.”

“The net result of this could be a position where small businesses are still being asked to pay unaffordable energy bills of several hundred percent more than in previous years, which is clearly not sustainable.”

In addition, Kill is calling for the relief to be extended to 12 months and echoes MVT’s call for further support from the Chancellor. “In isolation, it is unlikely to be enough to ensure businesses have the financial headroom to survive this winter.”