Windfall Tax Extended

Article posted

19th Mar 2024

Read time

3-5 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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The UK government recently announced the extension of the Energy Profits Levy (EPL), a tax on the extra profits of oil and gas companies, until March 2029. This levy, often referred to as a windfall tax, was introduced to help offset the rising energy bills faced by households and businesses alike. But what does the extension mean for business energy prices in the UK?

Understanding the Windfall Tax

The EPL is a surcharge on the profits of oil and gas companies exceeding normal levels. The rationale behind it is that these companies are profiting from a global energy crisis, not due to any specific actions of their own. The additional tax revenue is then used to fund support programs for households struggling with energy bills.


Extension Until 2029

The original end date for the EPL was March 2028. However, with the uncertainty in the energy market, the government decided to extend it for another year. This extension aims to ensure a continued stream of tax revenue to support households and potentially businesses facing high energy costs.


Impact on Business Energy Prices

The impact of the extended windfall tax on business energy prices is not entirely clear. While the tax itself doesn't directly affect businesses, it could have indirect consequences:

  • Producer Investment: The energy industry argues that the tax discourages investment in new oil and gas production. This could, in the long run, limit supply and potentially push prices higher.
  • Government Support: The tax revenue generated by the EPL might be used to fund future government interventions in the energy market. These interventions could include subsidies or price caps for businesses, potentially helping to stabilise or even reduce costs.


Uncertainty Remains

The true impact of the extended windfall tax on business energy prices will depend on various factors, including:

  • The trajectory of the global energy crisis
  • Government policies to support businesses
  • Investment decisions made by energy companies


What Businesses Can Do

While the situation remains uncertain, businesses can take some proactive steps:

  • Shop Around: Regularly compare energy suppliers to ensure you're getting the best possible deal.
  • Improve Efficiency: Implement energy-saving measures in your operations to reduce consumption.
  • Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on government announcements and industry trends related to energy prices.

The extension of the windfall tax is a complex issue with no easy answers. While it aims to provide relief for households, its long-term impact on business energy prices remains to be seen. By staying informed and taking proactive measures, businesses can navigate this uncertain landscape and manage their energy costs effectively.


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