RHA urges UK Government to continue support for energy prices

    On 1 April 2023, the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme comes to an end, but the Road Haulage Association is urging Government to continue the scheme for road transport businesses as for many, this could, it says, put an end to their operations.

    “Hauliers and coach operators play a critical role in our supply chains, in our economic recovery and in supporting local communities. 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 percent with the remainder reporting average increases of 130%. The majority of these costs come from warehousing and storage, where efficiencies have already been fully exploited.”

    Hauliers have increased their prices by an average of 5-10% over the past year. This demonstrates the link between energy bills and the high levels of consumer inflation. Reports from RHA 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.

    “We will shortly be releasing our annual Cost Report which shows the scale of the cost increases across the board on fuel, Adblue, vehicles and drivers. Rising salaries and interest rates are also increasing staffing and vehicle leasing costs.

    “The coach industry is also particularly vulnerable. They majority of coach operators are small businesses, many of whom deliver essential school transport and rail replacement services. They 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.

    “Thank you to those who contributed to the survey on energy costs. We will keep you updated on our engagement with Government on support for the industry at this difficult time.”