SIX MONTH ENERGY SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR THE SOCIAL CARE SECTOR?
It has been announced that business energy prices will be capped at ‘less than half’ of the anticipated winter levels for six months from 1 October.
What has been announced SO FAR?
Businesses are expecting six months of energy bill support as part of a package of measures to address the energy crisis, but what will this actually look like and what about the social care sector looking after people in care homes and the community?
It appears likely that vulnerable business sectors will be offered further support over and above the initial six month period. A consultation period is expected to suggest the focus of support measures and it is hoped that the social care sector will be included within this criteria.
Businesses will want clarity for the period beyond six months so that they can build this into their scenario planning.
How is the energy crisis impacting the financing of care homes?
When asked this question the Care Home Finance Brokers at Chandler & Co. confirmed that care sector market lenders are requesting additional information, usually seeking historical and management accounts to date with cashflow forecasts, showing the impact of increased costs versus the funding of care home beds.
As well as commentary on any pandemic impact, showing pandemic grants in isolation, care home owners are being asked to provide commentary in funding applications on the impact of the current energy and food price increases in addition to the usual care sector challenges.
Completed Finance care home deals tend to stipulate as normal the requirement for monthly management accounts within thirty days of the month end as part of loan covenant requirements, with the up to date figures evidencing the energy and food inflationary effects.
Care Home lenders are also starting to ask if energy contracts have been fixed as part of a viability and sustainability review, with potential care home buyers also asking this question of the sellers increasingly as part of due diligence enquiries.
How can Care Homes reduce their energy demand?
The current energy crisis is a fiscal event supply and demand situation, especially as Winter slowly approaches, so how can care home owners reduce their energy demands and thus carbon footprint?
A range of Ownacarehome.com supplier partners offer solutions looking at ways to reduce a care home’s carbon footprint, with the care home finance brokers at Chandler & Co. increasingly supporting finance applications for care home refurbishments and extensions. This includes projects in support of renewable energy upgrades which support the running of a care home and the journey towards a greener care home property.
No doubt the current energy and food pricing challenges will see a renewed focus on reducing wasted energy in the running of a care home through increased insulation, the take up of renewable energy projects incorporated within property refurbishments and new care home extensions and builds.