Britain said on Wednesday it would cap the wholesale cost of electricity and gas for businesses at less than half the market rate from next month, following a similar scheme for consumers, helping relieve the pressure of soaring energy costs.
It said wholesale prices for electricity would be capped at about 211 pounds ($239) per megawatt hour (MWh) and for gas at 75 pounds per MWh.
"We have stepped in to stop businesses collapsing, protect jobs, and limit inflation," finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng said.
The level of the cap has been set at less than half the wholesale prices anticipated this winter, the government said. The price will be confirmed on Sept. 30.
Suppliers will be compensated for the reduction in wholesale gas and electricity unit prices that they are passing onto non-domestic customers, it said.
The scheme will initially apply from Oct. 1 to Mar. 31 2023, for all non-domestic energy users, including charities and the public sector such as schools and hospitals as well as businesses.
The government also announced support for households in Northern Ireland on the same level as the equivalent scheme in the rest of the United Kingdom.
($1 = 0.8822 pounds) (Reporting by William James and Paul Sandle)