RHA urges continued energy bill relief

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.

The RHA has urged the Government to continue the Energy Bill Relief Scheme for road transport businesses after 1 April 2023, when the current scheme comes to an end. It warned that for many, the end of the scheme could put an end to their operations.

“Last month, we surveyed members on the impact of energy prices and have contributed to the Government’s review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS). Nearly half of those responding reported that their bills compared to last year have increased by between 300% and 400% with the remainder reporting average increases of 130%,” the RHA explained, although it added that the majority of these costs come from the warehousing and storage sectors, where efficiencies have already been fully exploited. It also noted that in the HGV sector, hauliers have increased their prices by an average of 5-10% over the past year.

“Reports from our members show that whilst businesses have been able to raise prices, the vast majority have not been able to raise them sufficiently to pass on the energy price increases in full,” the trade body said, adding that the coach industry is also particularly vulnerable as the majority of coach operators are small businesses, many of whom deliver essential school transport and rail replacement services, and as such operate on low margins with many tied into contracts with local authorities which do not reflect the increases in fuel and energy costs we have seen in the past year.