New plans to help businesses with energy bills may not be enough to stop firms from going bust, the Government has been warned.

The UK Government said the new scheme could halve the price paid for wholesale gas and electricity by non-domestic customers.

But the support is only for six months and Scottish business leaders warn of serious problems after that time.

The Government will pay part of an organisation’s bill if the wholesale price of gas and electricity stays above a set level.

The wholesale cost part of the bill will be capped at £211 per megawatt hour (MWh) for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas for six months.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We have stepped in to stop businesses collapsing, protect jobs and limit inflation.

“And with our plans to boost home-grown energy supply, we will bring security to the sector, growth to the economy and secure a better deal for consumers.”

In Scotland however, thoughts are already turning to March when bills could rise again.

Liz Cameron, Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive, said: “For those firms that will benefit, the six-month cap is not enough for them to be sufficiently reassured that the problem won’t return when the cap is no longer in effect.

“We are concerned that even more sudden rises in energy bills will await firms once the cap is lifted.

“We would urge the UK Government to engage immediately with the business community to properly define the vulnerable industries cited for support after the original six-month cap.”

And the Scottish Government said more generous package was needed.

John Swinney, deputy first minister, said: "Energy policy is reserved to the UK Government and we have been calling for it to introduce a business energy cap for some time.

“I welcome that it has now done so, but without substantial reform to the energy market there is a real risk that this temporary measure will prove to be inadequate.

“Given the increased cost of borrowing this support must be funded, in part, by targeting windfall gains in the energy sector.

 “The UK Government also needs to match the more generous levels of support provided by EU countries such as Germany.”