Businesses across Suffolk have welcomed the government's new package of energy bill support, but have warned long-term action is needed.

Number 10 announced on Wednesday that non-domestic electricity bills will be capped at 21.1p/kwh, while gas will be limited to 7.5p/kwh.

This policy will be in place for the next six months.

"It's good to see the government acknowledging the problem," said Ashley Simpson, commercial director at Bury St Edmunds-based manufacturing firm, Denny Bros.

"It comes as a welcome relief because we have to buy a lot more gas and electricity through the winter.

"However, this is just a good short to medium-term plaster. There is still so much uncertainty and we need to start considering long-term solutions.

"We need to give more incentives to green projects. This could provide much-needed stability."

The firm recently saw its gas and electric bill rise from £80,000 in 2021 to being quoted half a million for 2023.

For many businesses across the county, this is a common trend.

"The prices we were being quoted were horrendous," said Zoe Cutting, the new owner of Arlington's in Ipswich.

"In a matter of days, our British Gas quote jumped from 40/50p/kwh to 90p/kwh.

Sudbury Mercury: Zoe Cutting, owner of Arlington's IpswichZoe Cutting, owner of Arlington's Ipswich (Image: Charlotte Bond)

"So for us, this price cap is a huge relief."

Dave Courteen is managing director of Mozaic Group, which owns Riverhills Health Club and Spa in Bramford.

He said the company has recently been quoted triple the amount they were paying for energy in 2019.

"We've seen bills rise exponentially in just three years," he said.

"We welcome the announcement of this package, but we will still be on a cliff edge.

"The relief will only last until April when we will have a fresh bout of uncertainty.

"What we need is long-term support rather than that which is quite short-sighted."

Jenny Hanlon, chief financial officer at Adnams brewery, said she was delighted to hear "the government listening to the industry".

"It's very warming to see," she added.

"Rising bills have impacted us, our suppliers and the community around us.

"We have unfortunately had to raise some of our prices in a bid to combat the crisis, but we've also absorbed a lot of the costs.

"The key now is for us to receive long-term support that is focussed on providing clarity and certainty for businesses."

The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce also welcomed news of further government support.

Paul Simon, the Chamber's marketing and communications lead, said Number 10 must now go "much further".

"The UK’s energy market is not fit for purpose and is riddled with market imperfections," he said.

"In order to give businesses a fair chance to outline and then deliver their business plans, greater stability is needed in terms of how the market works.

“Firstly, there needs to be a legal duty to supply energy to businesses – unlike at present.

“Secondly, reports from our members about intermediaries and brokers ramping up already excessive energy price increases is such a serious matter that Suffolk Chamber is calling for the sector to be referred to the Competition & Markets Authority.

“Thirdly, we endorse the Government’s earlier announcement to establish an Energy Supply Taskforce and to make the UK self-sufficient in energy generation by 2040. We believe it is essential to decouple electricity prices from global gas prices.

"It is an outstanding irony that so many good Suffolk businesses are struggling to either find a supplier or afford excessive increases where we are next to some of the largest offshore windfarms in the world.

"In fact, it is an insult and one which needs to be addressed.”