The hospitality sector is expecting an 82% rise in their energy bills once current government support is lifted in April, according to a new survey.

Even before the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme ends, businesses are expecting a 101% rise in bills this quarter, compare to the same period last year, the joint Q1 Hospitality Members Survey by UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping and Hospitality Ulster has found.

The figures were raised directly with politicians yesterday (31 January) when UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls gave evidence to a BEIS Strategy Committee session on energy price support.

In addition to the findings on price, 56% reported increased standing charges.

The survey also highlighted the significant impact that the rise in energy prices is having on operations, with 42% of businesses reducing opening hours per day and 34% reducing the amount of days they open per week.

In a joint statement, the organisations said: “Hospitality businesses and representatives have consistently warned that the exclusion of the sector from additional energy support means venues are facing unsustainable hikes in their energy bills.

“These survey results reinforce those warnings, demonstrating the extent of this energy devastation on venues with bills set to almost double as a result of support significantly reducing.

They added: “Despite continually raising the alarm over energy suppliers’ unscrupulous behaviour during this crisis, we continue to see these companies relentlessly pursue excess profits at the expense of hard-working businesses and undermining the government’s significant investment.”

The organisations called for a government to recognise these struggles with action, “by reigning in energy suppliers and their poor conduct and unlocking hospitality’s potential in the Spring Budget”.