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Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS): a guide for businesses

New government support to help businesses with the cost of their energy bills has replaced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) following its closure on 31 March 2023.

The Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) will replace EBRS.

What is the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS)?

Following an initial announcement outlining the key parameters of the scheme in early January, the newly formed Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has now published further details about what customers can expect from the new scheme.

The new scheme is open to the same sectors covered by the EBRS, which means customers with a non-domestic contract such as a business, public sector organisation or charity will be eligible if their prices exceed a level predetermined by government.

Businesses on rates where the wholesale element of the bills is above this government level will be eligible for either:

  • The Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS): The baseline discount for eligible non-domestic customers. The support is applied automatically.
  • The Energy and Trade Intensive Industries (ETII): A higher level of support for eligible non-domestic customers. You need to register to get this support.
  • The Heat Network discount : A higher level of support for customers who run a heat network and supply to domestic customers. You need to register to get this support.

The scheme will run from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

You’ll find out more about the support by clicking on the links above, which will take you to the gov.uk website. And we've also included information below in our FAQ section.

When will I receive the EBDS discount?

As the final regulations and guidance for the scheme is not expected until the end of April 2023, most non-domestic customers eligible for the EBDS discount should expect to see it in their May bill (if they bill monthly). Any discount that is applicable for consumption from 1 April 2023 will be backdated accordingly.

As stated by DESNZ, most non-domestic customers will not see additional support on their energy bills from April and any support is likely to be significantly reduced.

Who is eligible for the EBDS?

The scheme is available to customers on a non-domestic energy contract who are:

  • on existing fixed price contracts that were agreed on or after 1 December 2021 (even if the contract starts later)
  • signing new fixed price contracts
  • on out of contract, variable or deemed rates
  • on flexible contracts

Support will only be applied within different contract types for the duration of the scheme, which runs from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

The scheme is not open to customers on domestic energy contracts.

Do I need to apply for the EBDS discount?

For EBDS, all energy suppliers must automatically apply the relevant discount to unit rates of eligible customers. You do not need to apply and there’s no need to contact us to claim the EBDS discount.

For ETII, which will provide a higher level of support to businesses operating in certain sectors, customers will need to register for this. DESNZ has said that suppliers will not be able to apply the ETII level of discount until the department has confirmed a customer’s eligibility.

Any business that operates in a sector with a SIC code on this list will be able to apply for the ETII support. At least 50% of a company’s revenue will need to be generated from UK-based activity in a sector with an eligible SIC code, according to information on DESNZ’s website.

If you get a message asking for your bank details in relation to this scheme, this could be a scam. Find out more about how to keep your information safe and avoid scams.

How do I apply for the ETII or Heat Network discount?

A portal to register for additional energy bill support from the government opened on 26 April 2023. This portal allows businesses to register as either an Energy & Trade Intensive Industry (ETII) or a Heat Network, which supplies domestic customers.

Eligible companies will only receive this additional support if they apply through the portal.

New organisations, or newly eligible organisations, will have 90 days to apply from the date at which they become eligible.

If any customers are struggling to access or use the portal, they should contact the DESNZ team on the following details:

  • Email: support@ebds.beis.gov.uk
  • Phone: 030 0400 5251
  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Can I opt out of the EBDS?

You can opt out of the scheme by notifying our customer service team. If you have already opted out of the EBRS, we will assume you wish to opt out of the EBDS and no further action is required.

If you're an intermediary, for example a landlord supplying tenants, you can’t opt out of the EBDS. You're legally obliged by the government to pass on what it describes as a ‘just and reasonable’ amount to the end user. For those customers unable to opt out, you can find further information on gov.uk.

Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) FAQs