This week’s big stories

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Every Friday, we take a look at some of the stories relevant to the elemental audience that have been making the national news this week.

The Guardian’s story on the energy price support announced for businesses:

UK businesses given six-month emergency energy price cap

The business department has now announced a ‘supported wholesale price’ expected to be £211 a megawatt hour for electricity and £75 a MWh for gas, which it said would be less than half the wholesale prices anticipated this winter.

“The cap means that electricity prices for business customers will still be about double what they were in October 2021, when the price per megawatt hour was £117, but more than half the forecast winter prices of about £540.

Read the full story: theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/21/uk-government-sets-out-emergency-package-to-cut-firms-energy-bills

The BBC covered what this means for schools on its local pages:

Energy price rise ‘painful’ for Shropshire schools trust

Gareth Bridges, chief financial and operating officer at Marches Academy Trust, said its 10 schools still faced ‘a significant increase in costs’.

He said they were considering options for reducing consumption, with a target of a 20% decrease.

‘The government support looks like it’s going to give us some protection, but we are still looking at a significant increase in costs,’ said Mr Bridges. ‘Maybe 50-60% on electric and possibly 200% on gas.’

Read the full story: bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-62998971

The Telegraph looked at the support for those homes that aren’t on gas:

Rural homeowners say support for heating oil bills is ‘drop in the ocean’

The Countryside Alliance said households on small or fixed incomes would find the coming winter ‘particularly difficult’.

James Legge, of the group, said: ‘£100 at current prices is a drop in the ocean. Most tanks are 1,000-plus litres. The minimum delivery is 500 litres and payments are made upfront – a 500-litre delivery is not far off £500 at the moment.’

Read the full story: telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/rural-homeowners-say-support-heating-oil-bills-drop-ocean/

The Express covered Greenpeace’s recommendations on energy-efficiency measures:

Heat pumps: UK’s plans for gas alternative branded ‘woefully off-track’ and ‘baffling’

The recommendations set out by the report include boosting the energy efficiency of all homes in the country, through measures like installing wall, loft and floor insulation as well as double glazing, to a minimum of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C standard over the next 10-15 years.

The report also recommends that the Government ramp up the deployment of low-carbon heat pump technology, so that installation reaches 900,000 per year by 2028, which would be a major step up from their current plan of installing up to 600,000 heat pumps per year.

Read the full story: express.co.uk/news/science/1672177/heat-pump-uk-plans-gas-alternative-woefully-off-track-greenpeace-report-energy-crisis