Viral Tweet Shows How Energy Price Rises Are Crippling Small Businesses

·4-min read
(Photo: Peter Zelei Images via Getty Images)
(Photo: Peter Zelei Images via Getty Images)

(Photo: Peter Zelei Images via Getty Images)

Energy prices are soaring to such heights the UK’s small businesses might be put out of business, as a viral tweet highlighted on Monday.

The stark reality of the cost of living crisis, driven by energy bills, clearly resonated with many when Twitter user Callum McKeefery shared: “My mum owns a small cafe in Leicester.

“Her electricity bill has just jumped from £10k ($12k) a year to £55k ($64k) a year.

“She is working out her options but more than likely she will be forced to close.”

Although the energy price cap is set to rise to £3,549 in October 1 for households – an astounding and unaffordable hike for many Brits – the cap does not actually apply to businesses.

This means they could be charged much more for their e nergy usage, as McKeefery’s tweet highlighted.

When another Twitter account questioned his claim, McKeefery added a photo breaking down his mum’s current electricity contract, showing how her standing charge has increased from 67.962p per day to 546.960p per day.

The day rate has shot up from 15.699p per kWh to 81.064 per kWh, while the night rate had soared from 11.044p per kWh to 71.355p per kWh.

Availability costs had increased too, from 2.910p per kVA/day to 2.940p per kVA/day.

And this business is far from alone. On Tuesday, another cafe shared a similarly bleak-looking bill on Twitter.

And other Twitter accounts were quick to point out that this is not an isolated problem.

Pub owners have also warned they are likely to be wiped out by the energy crisis this week.

Chief operating officer of St Austell Brewery, Andrew Turner, told Sky News: “Unlike consumers, there is no energy price cap for small businesses therefore we are seeing spiralling costs for our tenants, pubs and breweries.

“It is totally wiping out the profits they are making, which questions why on earth they would want to open their doors going forward.”

Downing Street has promised to act in the near future when it comes to the cost of living crisis, but it’s unlikely anything new will be announced until the new prime minister is in office come September 5.

A cost of living package was announced in May, to help a range of households, but no support was declared for businesses. Even this aide has been criticised for not being enough considering how much worse the energy crisis has become in recent weeks.

Six of the UK’s largest pub and brewing companies have signed an open letter to No.10 calling for immediate action to avoid “real and serious irreversible” damage.

Turner said: “At the moment, it feels like we are sat in the ether, with no significant leader at the top to make decisions.

“We need the government to step forward to make decisions, to support our sector, and make sure such a cornerstone of UK business can get through this tough time.”

In response, a government spokesperson said: “No government can control the global factors pushing up the price of energy and other business costs but we will continue to support the hospitality sector in navigating the months ahead.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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