Schools: Energy

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th September 2022.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help schools with energy payments this winter.

Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Like families and businesses across the country, schools are facing challenges with rising prices due to inflation and the rising cost of energy. The significant cash increases to school funding will help schools manage these higher costs. Core schools funding (including funding for mainstream schools and high needs) is increasing by £4 billion in the 2022/23 financial year compared to the previous financial year.

On 21 September 2022, the Government set out how businesses and public sector organisations, including schools, will be supported by the Energy Bill Relief Scheme. This will reduce how much schools need to spend on their energy and give schools greater certainty over their budgets over the winter months.

Any school which has signed a fixed energy contract since April 2022 will be eligible for support if, at the time they signed their contact, wholesale prices for the next 6 months were expected to be higher than the Government supported price of £211/MWh for electricity, and £75/MWh for gas.

For example, a school which uses 10 MWh of electricity and 22 MWh of gas a month and signed a fixed contract giving them a current monthly energy bill of about £10,000, would receive support based on the difference between expected wholesale prices when they signed their contract and the Government supported price. For a contract signed in July 2022, this could be worth £240/MWh for electricity and £70/MWh for gas, meaning the school receives a discount of £4,000 per month, reducing their original bill by 40%.

Support will also be available to schools on variable, deemed and other contracts.

The details of the scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/energy-bill-relief-scheme-help-for-businesses-and-other-non-domestic-customers.

The Department will continue to help schools to manage their budgets through its range of school resource management tools. The Department knows that every school’s circumstances are different, and where schools are in serious financial difficulty, they should contact their local authority or the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

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