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Personal care industry demands commercial energy bill rebate

By Emma Hobday | 23 March 2022 | Movers & Shakers, News

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The hair, beauty and barbering sectors have called for an energy bill rebate ahead of Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement 2022.

An energy bill rebate was offered to domestic homes in February, and so now the personal care sector hopes that a business rebate will become available, due to significantly increasing energy prices and the fear that the higher costs will affect the industry’s comeback after the pandemic.

The British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) British Beauty Council (BBCo), Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT), Hair & Barber Council, National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF), Sunbed Association and UK Spa Association all stressed the importance of these concerns to the government, and then issued a survey to assess the seriousness of the current situation. 1,774 businesses responded to the survey within 48 hours.

The findings include:

· Utility bills have increased for 94% compared to 2021, with 32% stating energy bills are their largest overhead and a further 50% stating it is their second greatest overhead.

· 44% of personal care businesses reported bill rises of 0-50%. 41% said they had risen by 51-100% and 10% had risen by an overwhelming 101-200%.

· 57% have attempted to switch supplier but 70% had been unable to renegotiate their current contract with their existing supplier.

· 82% have tried other things to reduce their energy costs, including lowering the heating, switching off lights more often and turning off sockets at the end of each day. Some businesses also report closing the salon for one day a week to save costs.

· 47% have reduced other business costs such as reducing amount of stock purchased and sadly, staff and personal wages, to be able to afford increasing utility bills.

victoria brownlieVictoria Brownlie, chief policy officer at the British Beauty Council comments, “We’re really hoping that, with pressure from the many other sectors as well as personal care, the chancellor will outline some specific business support around the rise in energy costs, just as the Treasury has done in recent months for domestic households.

“It is short-sighted, especially in this period of recovery, to think that individual households are the only one’s suffering.”richard lambert 1

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NHBF added, “‘We’re at a crunch point. The increase in energy prices on top of growing wider business and staff costs is and will be significant for many businesses. An energy price rebate would at least help spread the costs and allow more time for the sector to recover”.

Click here to read the Spring Statement.