Rising energy costs of 683% threatens the future of care services | QCS

Rising energy costs of 683% threatens the future of care services

Dementia Care
September 16, 2022

UPDATE
The New Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has said the Government will support all ‘businesses, charities and public organisations with their energy costs this winter – offering an equivalent guarantee for 6 months.’ No more details are known at this time. After the six month period, further support will be given to ‘vulnerable sectors,’ but it is unknown if this includes social care.
Read PM Liz Truss’s opening speech on the energy policy debate.

 

The energy crisis ‘poses a very severe risk to the sustainability of care services across the country,’ warns Care England.

It believes care providers could feel the full force of rising energy costs and is calling upon the Government to act now and prevent a ‘widespread catastrophe’ within adult social care.

The body that represents independent care providers has forged links with energy consultants Box Power CIC to assess the impact of rising fuel costs on the sector.

Their data suggests that to secure future energy (gas and electricity) from October 2022, a care provider would pay:

  • On 31 August 2021: £660 per bed, per annum
  • On 24 August 2022: £5,166 per bed, per annum. This represents a 683% increase in price compared to the previous year

To secure future energy from October 2023, a care provider would pay:

  • On 31 August 2021: £557 per bed, per annum
  • On 24 August 2022: £4,123 per bed, per annum. This represents a 640% increase in price compared to the previous year

The increase in costs could reduce profits, driving many providers into insolvency and hampering any scope for investment, it says.

Care England has called for immediate and targeted support from central Government to the sector, including:

  • The introduction of a per bed energy price cap equivalent to the proposed domestic energy price cap, or the reimbursement of providers for increased energy costs incurred by other means
  • The extension of the £400 energy rebate to vulnerable people in care and supported housing, introducing parity in the way they are treated compared with those living in their own homes
  • The removal of VAT and the Green Levy on energy bills

Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, said the figures show the scale of the energy crisis. He added:For gas and electricity that would have cost £660 per bed, per annum this time last year, this week care providers would have to pay an astonishing £5,166.’

Current packages of Government support do not support the social care sector, he said. Care providers pay the same VAT and Green Levy rates on energy bills as domestic settings but are not subject to the domestic price cap and are not set to benefit from the £400 energy rebate.

He added: ‘While these measures are incredibly important to protect public health and support struggling households across the country, parity must be introduced in the treatment of the most vulnerable in our communities. Without immediate and targeted support from Government, this energy crisis poses a very severe risk to the sustainability of care services across the country.’

Care England has written to Members of Parliament outlining the impact of energy price rises on the social care sector and asking them to pledge their support for the measures outlined above. The full letter can be found here.

Support for Care Providers

QCS has compiled a Cost of Living Crisis Survival Kit https://www.qcs.co.uk/cost-of-living-crisis-survival-kit/ that offers registered managers and care providers a range of useful tips that can be shared across the business. It includes information on grants, energy and fuel saving tips and mental wellbeing resources.

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