Labour would give grants to small firms to help them go green

Labour would introduce a voucher scheme to help small businesses go green as part of its plan to ease the cost of energy bills.

The party said it would move beyond the Government’s “sticking plaster” energy support scheme, with £700 million in grants for firms to invest in energy-saving technology such as heat pumps this year and cut costs in the long term.

Although the Government has promised to help businesses with their energy bills for another year, the amount of support is due to be cut in April.

Sir Keir Starmer
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will visit Octopus Energy (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Labour also said it would give energy-intensive industries such as ceramics, steel and chemicals access to a contingency fund of an additional £1 billion to provide immediate relief.

The party would also extend small business rates relief, a step it said would save high street firms up to £5,000 in 2023.

The measures would be paid for through the toughening up of the windfall tax on energy giants proposed by shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves over the weekend.

The £13 billion Labour estimates this would generate would also be used to freeze the energy price cap for domestic customers, due to rise to about £3,000 in April, for another three months.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Ms Reeves will visit renewable energy company Octopus Energy on Monday, to highlight their plans to support households and businesses with rising energy bills.

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “It is clear only Labour has a plan to keep Britain open for business.

“While the Conservatives lurch from crisis to crisis, Labour will lower business costs for good, helping small firms go green to save on energy bills.

“Firms are battling with rising energy prices, that’s why Labour will cut business costs now and help small businesses invest to ensure bills stay low for good.

“British business needs security and certainty and that is what they will get under Labour.”