October 2, 2022

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A kindergarten asked children and staff to wear more clothes to reduce bill costs

A kindergarten has asked children and staff to wear more clothes to cut heating costs due to rising energy bills.

“We can’t afford to have the heating on all day because it will destroy us,” DaisyChain owner Lee-Anne Lovegrove told the BBC, as quoted by the News.

Meanwhile, the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has called on the government for emergency Covid-style grants to help firms. Unlike many households, there is no price cap on commercial energy bills. Many smaller firms will be at risk as they try to cope with the skyrocketing costs of local heating and lighting.

How much have gas prices gone up?

Wholesale gas prices rose to the highest level in the last five months. On Thursday, prices for delivery to UK suppliers rose from 82p (4.7 lei) to 580p (33 lei) per therm due to uncertainty over Russian and European gas supplies ahead of planned maintenance next month.

“We’ve had no support from the government,” Lovegrove said, adding: “We’re going to keep the kids warm, we’re just asking parents to put extra clothes in the kids’ bags so we don’t have the heat on all day.”

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She said that as the weather gets colder, DaisyChain Nursery in Weston-super-Mare will heat the building before the children arrive, but then only turn it on for 10 to 20 minutes each hour to keep it at a ambient temperature of 20 degrees, and not the usual 21 or 22 degrees.

“We have 12 staff here and we’ve asked them to make sure they wear more clothes when they come to work”

“We’ve got 12 staff here and we’ve asked them to make sure they wear more clothes when they come to work because we won’t be able to have the heating on from 8am to 6pm every day because it’s going to destroy us financially.” Lovegrove also said.

The BCC said action must be taken quickly to “protect businesses, livelihoods and jobs”. The business lobby group has five proposals to help firms, including a temporary reduction in VAT to 5%, as well as the introduction of emergency grants for small and medium-sized companies.

Many companies are going to renegotiate their electricity and gas prices in October. Some firms will face bills five times the current price when energy contracts are renegotiated, analysts at Cornwall Insight have warned.

“Good business is good for our communities and we need to support the businesses and the people who run them to weather this economic storm,” said Shevaun Haviland, CEO of BCC.

How much electricity bills have increased

Electricity bills rose from £350-400 (Rs 2,000-Rs 2,300) to £700 (Rs 4,000) a month.

Almost 15% of small and medium-sized businesses believe they may have to close or downsize as a direct result of rising energy costs, according to FSB figures.

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