The British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC, British Beauty Council (BBCo), Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT), Hair & Barber Council, National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF), Sunbed Association and UK Spa Association are requesting an energy bill rebate amid fears that rising energy costs could affect the sector's pandemic recovery.
The organizations issued a cross-sector survey to assess the seriousness of the current situation, with feedback received from 1,774 businesses.
Insights from the survey include:
- 32% of respondents said energy bills are their largest overhead and a further 50% said it is their second greatest overhead.
- 44% of respondents reported bill rises of 0-50%, 41% said they had risen by 51-100% and 10% had risen by a staggering 101-200%.
- 57% have attempted to switch suppliers, but 70% had been unable to renegotiate their current contract with their existing supplier.
- 82% have taken other steps to reduce their energy costs, such as turning down heat, turning off lights more frequently and turning off sockets at the end of each day. Some reported limited operating days during the week.
- 47% have reduced other business costs to be able to afford increasing utility bills.
Lesley Blair, CEO of BABTAC, said, “When salons have worked so hard to survive and are now beginning to rebuild, it really does feel like one thing after another. We’ve been highlighting growing concerns around post-COVID recovery as utility costs continue to spiral for some time and were keen to feedback to government on the impact this is having on the personal care sector.”
Victoria Brownlie, chief policy officer at the British Beauty Council, said, “We’re really hoping that, with pressure from the many other sectors as well as personal care, the chancellor will outline some specific business support around the rise in energy costs, just as the treasury has done in recent months for domestic households. It is short-sighted, especially in this period of recovery, to think that individual households are the only ones suffering."
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NHBF, said, “‘We’re at a crunch point. The increase in energy prices on top of growing wider business and staff costs is and will be significant for many businesses. An energy price rebate would at least help spread the costs and allow more time for the sector to recover."