Latest Energy Matters reveals most British manufacturers are concerned about impact of renewable energy policy

The third Energy Matters (PDF, 200KB) briefing of 2015, npower’s bi-monthly policy update for large and medium business customers, reveals the vast majority of British manufacturers are concerned about changes to government policy on renewable energy.

Energy Matters aims to demystify new and proposed pieces of legislation to explain their impact on the bottom line of UK businesses. This month we are focusing on the upcoming Government consultation about business energy obligations.

In the recent Budget, the Treasury made a number of decisions around energy policy, in the midst of calls to reduce ‘red tape’ for businesses. The Chancellor announced that renewable energy would lose its exemption from the Climate Change Levy (CCL). He also promised to review the business energy regulatory framework as a whole through an upcoming consultation. This consultation will consider the CCL and CRC and how they both interact with other energy efficiency policies and regulations.

The British manufacturers surveyed thought that removing the Climate Change Levy 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.

The upcoming consultation will consider the Climate Change Levy 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.

It is also clear that there is a lot of interest in the upcoming consultation. Four in five respondents (81%) said they think it is important that British businesses influence changes to the CCL and CRC. 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.

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.

However, we welcome this proposed review of business energy incentives – 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. Our results show that businesses are engaged with key energy issues and realise that they have a role to play in influencing government policy. We’re looking forward to taking part and would encourage all businesses to do the same.”