UPDATED 19 October
The Heritage Railway Association is urging all of its members to respond as soon as possible to a government survey on energy costs, the deadline for which has now been extended by an extra week.
Heritage railways and tramways, and related museums and other heritage rail sector organisations are invited by DCMS to urgently respond to a new UK Government survey on energy costs as part of their review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
This review is seeking to collate individual organisation-level information to help the government further understand the impact of rising energy bills and each sector’s case for energy costs support beyond April 2023. Accordingly, it will inform decisions about the future of the scheme after the conclusion of the initial six-month period of support (which ends on 31 March 2023).
The review is being carried out by the Business and Energy Secretary with close engagement across other Government departments and with the Devolved Administrations. It will focus in particular on identifying the most vulnerable non-domestic customers and how the Government will continue assisting them with energy costs. These are likely to be those who are least able to adjust, for example by reducing energy usage or increasing energy efficiency.
The review will consider:
- how effective the scheme has been in giving support to vulnerable non-domestic customers;
- which groups of non-domestic customers (by sector, size or geography) remain particularly vulnerable to energy price rises, taking into account the latest price position and forward curves, alongside other cost pressures; &
- how to continue supporting these customers – either by extending the existing scheme for some users, or replacing it with a different scheme.
The survey is now live here and is a key opportunity to feed your concerns directly to the Government and to capture insight, data and evidence that could inform the outcome of the review. This survey is being sent out to a huge number of sectors and DCMS is encouraging all HRA members and others across the tourism, cultural and heritage sectors to respond to ensure that our sector’s views are represented.
Unfortunately, a very short period of time has been given for completion, although a short extension has been made. The survey will now close at 23:55 on Sunday, 30 October.
In question 1.2, you are asked to input the standard industrial classification (SIC) code for the industry in which your organisation operates. HRA members are generally either operational visitor attractions, museums or supporting organisations.
- The SIC code for all heritage sector organisations is 9103: Operation of historical sites and buildings and similar visitor attractions.
- For those of our members who are primarily museums, the SIC code to be used by museums is 9102, Museums activities.
- Alternatively, for those handful of members who consider themselves to be pure visitor attractions rather than heritage railways, you may use to use one of the other SICs such as 9321
To support the completion of Question 1.3 (Please provide a description of the industry in which your organisation operates), three heritage subcategories have been given to us by DCMS. The focus of these subcategories is energy profile and they try to link together organisations who have similar energy usage. Please do read the descriptions assigned to the categories and input the category which best describes your organisation:
Enterprise led heritage orgs– this means anything that is visitor dependent, which needs to keep a certain level of comfort for collections and /or visitors, probably with a food and beverage offering.
Volunteer led heritage orgs– this is not just volunteer led organisations, rather those who need to keep an office space or similar warm for employees / volunteers. Sector support organisations without a visitor offering would sit best here unless they are construction-focused.
Heritage construction orgs– although this title is unhelpful for heritage rail (and other mobile heritage) this means any organisations in the heritage sector primarily for repair and maintenance.
Alternatively, if you used the SIC code 9321, please state Attractions/Experience
Chief Executive of the Heritage Railway Association, Steve Oates, said: “We are very keen that heritage rail is well-represented in discussions surrounding the review and strongly encourage HRA members to complete the questionnaire.
“Working with our partner lobbying organisations, we will continue to make the case to Government that heritage organisations should be included in those businesses that continue to receive cost of living support after March 2023.”
“If you are also able to share your responses to the survey with the HRA, perhaps by screen grab or by saving answers in a word document, that will really help our advocacy work. Please email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org .”
Please remember the deadline is now 23.55hrs on Sunday, 30 October and the survey can be found here.
If you have any evidence that you feel has not been captured by the survey, please send it to EBRSReview@beis.gov.uk, copying in email@example.com.
The HRA has also emailed general managers, chairs, company secretaries and finance managers or directors at each member organisation with information about the survey.