Pubs across the country will be hit with a significant increase in energy costs from 1 April, with the average bill to go up by more than £18k a year, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has warned.

It is urging the government to ensure that suppliers offer a renegotiation window for pubs and breweries that are locked into “extortionate” energy contracts.

The end of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme on 31 March, which came into force in November 2022, will add further pressure to a sector that is struggling to retain profit margins, with over 560 pubs closing their doors throughout 2022, more than during each year of the pandemic, the BBPA said.

“This has been a critical issue for our sector for far too long and as the 1 April draws closer we have reached a point where businesses have nowhere left to go, as costs increase, and their profit margins are completely erased,” Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:

“Last week the Government extended energy support for consumers but left businesses out in the cold, in doing so the Chancellor recognised the UK’s energy market is broken but to date has done little to fix it. As a result, pubs and breweries are now doing all they can to prepare for an extreme hike in costs come 1 April, with some expected to pay almost £20k more for their bills than the day before.”

McClarkin said that if these costs were passed on at the bar it would price prices for consumers through the roof.

“Our pubs and brewers are doing everything they can to limit the impact of these baked-in higher costs on consumers but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do so.

“With no action on energy for businesses, the simple fact is thousands of our pubs and brewers will be at risk of closure come 1 April and will be lost from communities across the country forever.”