PRESELI Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb recently gathered together a cross section of Pembrokeshire businesses for an in-depth roundtable focusing on the impact of rising energy costs.

With current pressures around the increase in supply and cost of energy, the MP wanted to hear direct from important Pembrokeshire employers in a dedicated online forum.

Mr Crabb was able to discuss the Government package of support to business – branded the Energy Relief Support Scheme – introduced from October 1 to help businesses through a period where gas and electricity prices have been significantly inflated in light of global energy prices.

“I am aware that, for many businesses across Pembrokeshire, rising energy costs are the number one issue,” said Mr Crabb.

“During the summer I met with a number of local companies who explained to me the difficulties they were experiencing in securing any affordable electricity contracts.

“The roundtable idea developed from these conversations and was a really useful way for me to connect with businesses to hear more about their own experiences and provide important feedback to ministers.”

The Government plans to publish a review into the operation of the scheme to inform decisions on future support after March 2023.

The review will focus in particular on identifying the most vulnerable non-domestic customers and how the government will continue assisting them with energy costs.

“It’s important for me to be speaking up for local businesses ahead of the review,” commented Mr Crabb.

“I have been repeatedly calling for more support for those not connected to either the gas or electricity grid who are reliant on expensive heating oil and LPG.

“The £100 support payment just isn’t enough to make the difference to households let alone businesses.

“I am disappointed there is still no clarity on what the assistance looks like for those businesses operating across Pembrokeshire in this situation.

“I met with the Energy Minister last week to push for additional help for the 50 percent of households and more, who live without a mains energy supply.”

Other items discussed during the roundtable was investment in renewable energy projects to offset the rising costs of energy and employment, with many businesses having open employment vacancies.