Poll reveals UK industry fears for renewable energy investment

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 23 Sep 2016 11:23
Two-thirds of manufacturers express concern over energy policy changes
Two-thirds of manufacturers express concern over energy policy changes

An alarming new survey has revealed that a vast majority of British manufacturers are concerned about changes to Government policy on renewable energy and warn there is still too much bureaucracy, despite efforts to simplify the energy landscape.

The British manufacturers surveyed by npower Business Solutions thought that removing the Climate Change Levy (CCL) might penalise companies which invest in green energy. 65% of manufacturers said they were concerned or very concerned about the impact of removing the CCL exemption on investment.

These figures come in the midst of a time of great change for the energy industry. The Chancellor recently promised to review the business energy regulatory framework and a consultation has been launched to discover the opinions and concerns of British businesses.

The upcoming consultation will consider the CCL and CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and how they both interact with other energy efficiency policies and regulations. Three quarters (74%) of those surveyed in the sector felt strongly or very strongly that they were overburdened with bureaucracy. The consultation looks likely to arouse interest; four in five respondents (81%) said they think it is important that British businesses influence changes to the CCL and CRC.

The results also revealed a majority were dissatisfied with Government energy policy in its current guise, with 57% saying existing and planned policies don’t reflect the needs of British businesses. The businesses surveyed took a keen interest in energy policy, with security of supply (67%) and energy affordability (56%) seen as very important by a majority of respondents.

Wayne Mitchell, Director of Markets & Innovation for npower Business Solutions, said: “Our survey clearly shows that while manufacturers welcome changes to simplify the energy landscape, these cannot be made at the expense of encouraging green energy.

“The Government must maintain the balance between reducing the regulatory burden on businesses and providing incentives for investment in renewables.

“Some are speculating that the CRC scheme will be removed, with the CCL being used to address the shortfall in funding. We would support this measure in principle if costs were allocated fairly, however quick decision making on this is essential to ensure businesses have certainty.

“We welcome this proposed review of business energy incentives, indeed we have been campaigning for this as far back as 2017 – it’s a positive step and it is right that the Government is looking at the impact excessive ‘red tape’ can have on businesses. The upcoming consultation gives a fantastic opportunity for all businesses, big and small, to get their voices heard.”

Richard Warren, Senior Energy & Environment Policy Adviser at the EEF, commented: “These survey results very much chime with our own findings and discussions with our members. Manufacturers have grown frustrated with the increasing complexity and ineffectiveness of much of the policy landscape and want reform.

“The sector welcomes the upcoming Government review and is keen to engage but it is vital that this review goes further than a few administrative tweaks. The Government needs to take a bold approach that can cut costs and bureaucracy for business and better enable them to invest to reduce their own energy consumption.”



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