More energy intensive firms could be exempted from energy policy costs, depending on the outcome of a consultation promised in the government’s Industrial Strategy, published today.
Currently, a small number of the largest industrial companies are able to avoid paying for government policy costs such as the contract for difference scheme, which are added to everyone else’s bills.
Exempting those firms is intended to safeguard UK jobs and production of energy intensive materials such as steel.
However, many other energy intensives believe they are being placed at a competitive disadvantage by paying higher prices for energy compared with manufacturers in other countries. Today’s announcement appears to have given them little to cheer about.
Laura Cohen, chief executive of the British Ceramic Federation, said the lobby group was “disappointed not to see clearer proposals to benefit UK competitiveness on energy for ceramics and other energy intensive industries”.
She added: “We are also disappointed that government is unable to take forward, at this stage, our proposals for a ceramic sector deal.”
Elsewhere, the Industrial Strategy reiterated government’s intention to develop a new scheme to encourage energy efficiency investment by large firms, as outlined in the clean growth plan, published last month.
The government also promised to consult next year on ‘a package of measures to support businesses to further improve their energy productivity.’
See the Industrial Strategy here (p160 for energy efficiency/exemptions).