New prime minister Liz Truss has announced a support plan to help households and businesses cope with spiralling energy costs.

Truss said the Energy Price Guarantee will see a £2,500 annual price cap for two years, from October 1, for consumers and a new six-month scheme for businesses, which will provide equivalent support to that being offered to consumers.

This support scheme for businesses will be reviewed after three months.

Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the announcement for the support for businesses which is much-needed and long-awaited. We have been calling for a price cap for local shops in line with what we already see in the domestic market. While we are pleased that the Government has taken action to support businesses with their spiralling energy costs, we are clear that help may be needed for local shops beyond the current 6-month timeframe.”

National president of the Federation of Independent Retailers, Jason Birks, cautiously welcomed the news. He said: “Although the devil is in the detail, today’s news of support for businesses should give struggling retailers some comfort and relief.

“Six months is a starting point, but the Fed and its members need longer term assurances that support will be ongoing.

“However, we look forward to hearing more about the financial support that will be available and assisting members in making sure they receive the help and support they need.”

Truss also announced a new Energy Supply Taskforce, created to negotiate long-term energy contracts with domestic and international suppliers.