The manufacturers’ organisation EEF has called on the Chancellor to do more to tackle rising energy bills for businesses, echoing a similar petition by the CBI last week.
Speaking ahead of George Osborne’s Autumn statement due in December, EEF’s Chief Executive Terry Scuoler said: “The Chancellor’s top priority must be action on business energy costs. These are rising faster than our competitors, squeezing margins, which will risk choking-off the investment recovery.
“With government policies on climate change set to add as much as 50% to the electricity prices paid by industry by 2020, it must act now to stop planned rises in energy taxes and set out a long-term commitment to compensate energy intensive industries.”
The trade body said measures in the Energy Intensive Industry Package, which offset increased costs from decarbonisation policies, should be extended until 2020-2021. It said energy intensive industries should be exempted from the costs of the Renewables Obligation and the Feed-in-Tariff as well.
EEF also called on the Chancellor to freeze the Carbon Price Floor and begin cutting it down year-by-year, starting in 2016. It said a planned increase in the Climate Change Levy should be similarly be scrapped.
Meanwhile, the Combined Heat and Power Association (CHPA) has asked the Chancellor to recognise the economic benefits of CHP by exempting it from the Carbon Price Floor.
A new report from CHPA claimed the technology has been suffering at the hands of a carbon tax rise that was three times greater than for less efficient gas power stations.
Tim Rotheray, CHPA Director said “Exempting CHP from the Carbon Price Floor would help these companies control their energy costs, improve their ability to compete in the global marketplace and support our economic recovery.”