London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Energy bills: 'My supply fee has gone from 29p to £4 a day'

Energy bills: 'My supply fee has gone from 29p to £4 a day'

Emma Shepherd is one of many pub landlords searching for the best energy deal as her costs continue to soar.

But each quote includes a hike to her standing charge - the fixed daily fee to suppliers - with one saying it would rise from 29p to £4 a day.

UK Hospitality said restaurants, pubs and bars were being hit with 600% rises in standing charges with "absolutely no justification or explanation".

But the trade body for energy firms said charges were higher due to costs.

Energy regulator Ofgem told the BBC it was "aware" some businesses were being asked to pay additional costs. It said it was looking to see if action was needed.

Mrs Shepherd, 52, who runs the Blue Ball Inn near Sheffield said "nobody" could tell her why her standing charge had increased so much. The pub had already closed its kitchen on Mondays and Tuesdays to reduce running costs, she said.

The British Beer and Pub Association said its members had reported costs "being layered onto bills". The extra costs, it said, included large deposits up front.

Scaled back

Unlike households, businesses are not covered by an energy price cap, which limits the amount suppliers can charge per unit of energy.

To shield companies from the spike in energy costs, wholesale electricity and gas prices have been fixed for pubs and many other businesses since October under government support.

But the standing charge element of the bills, which is the daily amount customers pay for the supply of energy, no matter how much is used, is not covered under the support.

From April, the current level of help is set to be scaled back. but price of wholesale gas, which is what suppliers pay gas companies, has also fallen in recent months from record levels last year.

Mrs Shepherd, who entered the pub trade with her husband Carl in 2019, has managed to stay afloat during Covid lockdowns, restrictions and the energy crisis so far as she had a fixed gas and electricity deal.

But when she looked to renew, she said her current provider only offered her a variable contract with a standing charge of £4 a day, when it used to be 29p.

The price per unit of energy has been also quoted at around 37p a day, up from 15p.

Mrs Shepherd said if she took this deal the pub would be looking at bills of up to £17,000 a year, up from between £8,000 and £10,000.

"I'm playing a game of poker with the energy companies," she told the BBC. "My electric and my gas is more than my rent which is crazy. I'm working harder to earn a lot less."

Although Mrs Shepherd might be able to get a fixed rate at a lower price than the variable one, she said being locked into a deal at a higher cost for years when energy prices were forecast to come down left her with a difficult decision.


Chris Jowsey, the boss of Admiral Taverns, which has 1,600 pubs, called for energy firms to be held to account to "make sure they are not profiteering".

He warned "onerous" energy contracts put many pubs at risk of closure.

Energy UK, the trade body for suppliers, said it was a "misconception to imply that standing charges are rising to compensate for unit prices being capped".

A spokesman said one reason why standing charges had gone up was because the costs associated with the wider network to transmit and distribute energy had risen.

He added another reason for higher network charges was due to costs resulting from suppliers going bust, which many, mostly smaller firms, did when wholesale prices surged.

Last summer, energy watchdog Ofgem was accused by the National Audit Office of allowing a market to develop that was vulnerable to large shocks.

While Ofgem accepted some failings, it said it had been dealing with a "once-in-a-generation global energy price shock".


In a letter to the Energy Secretary Grant Shapps, leaders in the hospitality industry called for the government to instruct Ofgem, the energy regulator, to enable energy contracts signed when prices were higher last year to be renegotiated, due to wholesale prices now being lower.

Ms Nicholls said half of businesses in the sector were locked into high-price deals and warned that thousands might not be able to afford bills when support is reduced from April.

She said if Ofgem could not enable businesses to be able to switch to cheaper deals, then the government should step in and maintain help at current levels, as it is expecting to do for households in next week's Spring Budget.

Ofgem told the BBC it was "aware" some businesses were having problems in getting fixed-rate energy deals as well as being asked to pay additional costs.

It said its priority was to ensure customers paid a fair price for energy and said it was looking to see if action was needed.

The government said Ofgem's review would include whether the regulator requires more powers.

It said the energy support for businesses meant they were paying around half of predicted wholesale energy costs this winter.


Related Articles

London Daily
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
England Loses Over 260,000 Social Rent Homes in a Decade
Campaigners Urge Government to Block Shein's FTSE Listing
First NHS AI-Run Physiotherapy Clinic Launches This Year
British TV Presenter Michael Mosley Found Dead on Greek Island
Ukrainian Forces Claims First Strike on Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron Tricked by Hoax Caller Posing as Former Ukrainian President
Kate Middleton's Absence from Colonel's Review Due to Chemotherapy
UK Foreign Secretary Deceived by Prank Video Call
Sunak Criticised Over D-Day Exit in BBC Debate
Rishi Sunak Apologizes for Leaving D-Day Commemoration Early
UK Woman Sentenced After Causing Fatal Crash While Sending Selfies
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Assaulted in Central Copenhagen
UN to Add Israel to Human Rights Blacklist