Pubs warn of closure as energy bills face 300% rise

Business / Tue 30th Aug 2022 at 08:44am

PUBS across the UK will be forced to close due to energy costs soaring by as much as 300%, brewery bosses warned reports the BBC.

Leaders of six of the country’s largest breweries called on the government for “immediate government intervention” on sky-high energy bills this winter.

Unlike households, businesses aren’t covered by a regulated energy price cap, meaning bills are higher.

Pub owners said the energy crisis would cause “real and serious irreversible” damage to the industry without support.

The pub and brewery owners from six companies – JW Lees, Carlsberg Marston’s, Admiral Taverns, Drake & Morgan, Greene King and St Austell Brewery – sit on the board of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

In an open letter to the government, they urged immediate intervention, including a support package and a cap on the price of energy for businesses.

Chris Jowsey, boss of Admiral Taverns which has 1,600 pubs, said his tenanted pubs now pay more in energy bills than they do in rent.

He told the BBC’s Today programme that one of his tenants wrote to him saying he was leaving after 20 years due to his electricity bill going up 450% – an increase so large he couldn’t pass onto customers.

Mr Jowsey said breweries were now having to bypass energy suppliers and buy directly from the wholesale market due to companies not being willing to supply the sector, which uses high amounts of energy.

In a statement the Department for Business, Energy and Industry said “no government” would be able to 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,” a spokesman added.

“That includes providing a 50% business rates relief for businesses across the UK, freezing alcohol duty rates on beer, cider, wine and spirits and reducing employer national insurance. This is in addition to the billions in grants and loans offered throughout the pandemic.”

The government has previously said no policy will be announced until the new prime minister is announced on 5 September.

Mr Jowsey said that he had personally raised the issue of high energy prices with ministers more than six months ago: “And I find it incredible that we have to wait for one person to get elected before we actually get some decisions and some policy which will protect not just jobs, not just people’s livelihoods, but also their homes because remember most people that run pubs in this country actually live above the shop,” he said.


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4 Comments for Pubs warn of closure as energy bills face 300% rise:

Kim Oconnor
2022-08-30 09:26:49

Going backwards in stead of forwards. A lot of businesses will close, and are closing.

Bruce Downey
2022-08-30 10:51:36

Pubs are in a downward spiral for some time sadly. The pandemic and cost of living has accelerated decline, only the well run and popular will flourish. Cheers 🍻

2022-08-30 13:43:51

Congratulations all those who supported net zero without thinking about energy security e.g. nuclear. Short signed virtue signalling of politicians again of all parties. This is going to be THE issue for energy over winter not can we pay domestic energy bills but how many companies are collapsing as energy costs force it. Bruce that is short sighted - matters not how well run when energy bills go from 10K PA to 100K PA unless you fancy £50 a pint

2022-08-31 14:20:15

I think you will find this winter is just the beginning of a new normal. “Sh@tstorm Ahead”, oh its here already.

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