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Energy Bills Relief Scheme – capturing the needs of charitable organisations

The government needs your input now! Don't miss this opportunity to feed back your organisation's needs and experiences of energy costs, usage and more...

Update: The deadline for responses to the questionnaire is now 11:55pm on Sunday 30 October 2022.

The short-term support provided to charities and businesses under the Energy Bill Relief Scheme should start filtering through to energy accounts during October and November. The relief, which caps the unit price of electricity and gas until 31 March 2023, will be passed on to non-domestic customers automatically.

As part of the scheme the government has committed to finding out more about the needs of specific sectors, to plan for longer-term support.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a survey and Charity Finance Group (CFG) is urging every organisation to provide their needs and experiences.

Dr Clare Mills, Director of Policy and Communications, CFG, said:

“It’s vital that as many organisations as possible complete the BEIS survey. We’re providing a handy checklist to help social enterprises, charities, voluntary groups and community organisations do so. Please read, use and share – and let us know if there’s further information or guidance you’d have liked.”

The checklist:

Before you start, gather together:

  • Recent energy bills and data on your energy usage. You will need detailed information on your usage, costs and tariffs over the past twelve months and predicated tariffs from 1 April 2023.
  • Charity number (if applicable). This will enable government to cross reference with Charity Commission data and get a better picture of the financial impact.
  • Company registration number (if applicable).
  • Your Standard Industry Classification (SIC) code. If your organisation is a registered company, you can find your SIC code on the records held at Companies House. If your organisation is not a registered company, check this list. You will probably want to scroll down to section P onwards to find the appropriate code or use 74990 to indicate you’re a non-trading company.
  • Information about changes in demand for your services over the past 12 months. How does demand in the last six months compare to demand in the six months prior to that? It may also help to indicate whether you predict demand changing in the short to medium term as well – there’s a text box to add this information.

When you’re completing the survey:

  • Please input one of the options from the following list, to denote your primary focus. Question 1.3 asks about the sector your organisation operates in, giving the example of hospitality. We often refer to ourselves as the “charitable sector” but this really indicates how we do things rather than what we do – there’s charitable activity in every sector, from health and social care to education, housing to hospitality, retail and manufacturing. So it may be helpful to give more detail. Either one of the charity classifications:
    • Charity: General charitable purposes (including grant making)
    • Charity: Education and training
    • Charity: Advancement of health or saving lives
    • Charity: Disability
    • Charity: Prevention or relief of poverty
    • Charity: International development/humanitarian aid
    • Charity: Accommodation/Housing
    • Charity: Religion
    • Charity: Arts/Culture/Heritage/Science
    • Charity: Amateur sport
    • Charity: Animals
    • Charity: Environment/Conservation
    • Charity: Economic/Community Development/Employment
    • Charity: Armed Forces/Emergency Services Efficiency
    • Charity: Human Rights/Religious or Racial Harmony/Equality or Diversity
    • Charity: Recreation
    • Charity: Other


    • Youth services


    • Social enterprise

  • Question 2.10 asks for any further information about your energy usage. If your charitable activities require intensive energy usage – for example, you are heating a draughty building, running a lot of equipment, or needing to keep people or animals warm – then please explain this here.
  • Your response to questions 4.7 and 4.8 would be hugely helpful to BEIS’s understanding of our sector: it’s the place to spell out that many charities and social change organisations are affected by the rising costs of providing services, but often don’t have the option to act like businesses and pass on cost increases by raising prices. The buck of the price rises stops with you, in many cases.
  • Questions 5.1 and 5.2 ask about the social impact of your goods or services not being produced. Again, it’s valuable to BEIS’s understanding and a chance to show what the impact might be if your organisation was no longer doing what it currently does – or even no longer existed.
  • The final question (5.5) asks what factors the government should consider when determining which organisations/sectors are most at risk and therefore receive future energy support. This is an opportunity to explain the importance of the work that you do, the impact that is has (including any statistics or research), and how the government’s energy support is helping you to continue doing that work (including any data on money you are saving and how you are spending those additional savings to provide services).


Dr Clare Mills added: “The charitable sector encompasses a whole range of business models and income generation strategies, as well as different ways of covering costs. Understanding that diversity will be invaluable as BEIS develop plans to support some parts of our economy with energy costs in the longer term."

The BEIS survey is open and the deadline has been extended until 23.55hrs on Sunday 30 October 2022 – so please, please ensure that you take the chance to have your say. Organisations should only submit one response!


CFG would like to thank our colleagues at NCVO, Pro Bono Economics and VODG for their helpful suggestions for this checklist.


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