THE owner of an award-winning Dunfermline restaurant fears it "won't survive" after learning his electricity bills could double to more than £140,000 a year.

Dhaneshwar Prasad, who opened Dhoom on New Row four years ago, said so many other ventures, in West Fife and across the UK, will struggle to stay open unless something is done to help.

He posted on Facebook: "How does a small, successful, independent business like Dhoom survive with the electricity bill alone jumping from less than £6,000 a month to approximately £20,000 a month?

"What do we do Dunfermline?"

He shared his renewal advice on social media which said his estimated annual bill was around £70,000 and, under a new fixed price contract, that would go up by more than three times as much to £234,000.

Prasad, as he's known, told the Press he'd since shopped around and been advised to try other firms, but from what he's discovered he fears he's still facing a 100 per cent hike from January 1.

He said: "It's a disaster. It's impossible for any business like mine to deal with a jump like that.

"I don't know how we're going to survive."

The Indian ‘streatery’ has proved a huge hit since opening in 2018 and it was crowned Restaurant of the Year at the 2022 Scottish Curry Awards.

He continued: "We bring in about £400,000 to £500,000 a year so even if the bill doubles (to around £140,000) that's 33 per cent of what we bring in having to go on electricity alone.

"There's also gas, water, rates, rent and wages while food costs alone have gone up 40 per cent.

"And if we put the prices in the restaurant up, we'll lose customers.

"They're already having to cope with the cost-of-living crisis, so people that maybe came in once a week are coming once a month.

"I have 15 people working for me who depend on me, we help so many community groups and charities too, but it's impossible to survive with that kind of bill."

Last week, we reported that the Wee Vegan Bakery, in Townhill, was about to close due to sky-rocketing energy prices.

Prasad agreed: "It's not just us, it's every small business. Something has to be done.

"If they can cap the amount companies can charge for energy bills, I understand it has to go up but if it's a manageable rise, like five or 10 per cent, we could deal with that.

"But if it's 100 per cent, how can any company cope with that?"

Dunfermline and West Fife MP, Douglas Chapman, said: "Small businesses like Prasad's excellent and popular restaurant Dhoom are facing unprecedented and frankly unsustainable raises to their energy costs on top of an already difficult time for businesses as they recover from the effects of the COVID pandemic, deal with trade issues off the back of a disastrous Brexit and grapple with the cost-of-living crisis.

"In the summer, I wrote to Nadhim Zahawi, asking him to restrict energy price rises for business but got no reply before his seat was filled by a new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt.

"It's now November and we are still waiting to read the devil in the detail of their much-delayed Autumn statement. Radio silence from Westminster is just not good enough."