Italian restaurant owners say The Palazzo in Burnley is still going strong despite paying around £6,000 per month for electricity
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The husband and wife duo behind The Palazzo in Grimshaw Street paid under £9,000 per year in electricity bills last July.
But Pino and Carolyn Cafasso now fork out around £6,000 – two-thirds of last year’s total bill – in just one month.
Their monthly bill has risen from 18p to 80p per unit of power and includes a discount from the Government.
Carolyn said: “It’s unbelievable. It’s going to be crippling for many businesses."
But she claimed the restaurant is still thriving thanks to support from Burnley people and welcomes the news that the Government will continue to provide an energy discount to businesses.
What support does the Government currently offer to businesses?
The Government offers a winter discount on gas and electricity to businesses, schools, hospitals, care homes, and charities.
The Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) was launched in October to give businesses breathing space to make plans to adapt to high energy costs - but it will end this month.
A new Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) has now been announced, starting next month and running until April 2024.
What is the new Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS)?
The new scheme also offers a discount on gas and electricity to businesses, schools, hospitals, care homes, and charities. Energy companies will automatically apply the reductions to their customers' bills.
Pino said: "Many businesses have been forced to shut their doors, not by choice. I employ many people, so many families [depend on me]. I feel like I have a big responsibility.
"The rising bills have a massive impact of businesses. I hope we can all ride it out. I have been in this country for 30 years. It has always been a strong country, and we have dealt with this before, but this time it's worse."
How are the UK’s vegetable shortages compounding the issue?
Pino says he pays more for ingredients due to vegetable shortages in the UK, calling them another blow for restaurants.
"It's worrying seeing everybody put their prices up. Everything is expensive. And when supermarkets charge more, so do other suppliers."
For more information about gas and electricity support from the Government, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/energy-bills-discount-scheme