Regardless of political preferences, you could almost hear a unanimous cheer up and down the country from businesses when the government announced a consultation into business energy efficiency taxes to kick off this autumn.
The consultation is a recognition that the status quo is creating an unmanageable administrative burden and is set to look at ways to streamline schemes and reduce red tape.
This isn’t the first business energy consultation but it’s certainly the first time Treasury, DECC and BIS have worked together to take a fully joined up approach to policy.
One of the main reasons we’ve arrived to this situation is because of the number of different schemes introduced at various times, with little consideration them overlapping with other schemes or knock-on effects. We collectively got our hopes up that the ‘red tape challenge’ of 2012 would improve things but the outcome failed to address the real pain points and arguably things have got even more complex since.
The autumn consultation could be an opportunity to get to the nub of the problem.
Major energy users’ response
We asked major energy users what they hoped the consultation would achieve and the response was unanimous: consistent reporting, consolidated schemes and cost transparency.
Inenco asked businesses their opinions on the areas DECC, HMT and BIS have suggested they aim to focus upon, to make sure the consultation focuses on the areas that matter most to businesses.
The results: 70% wanted to see fundamental changes to the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), citing it as simply a tax that could be moved onto bills or the Climate Change Levy (CCL). Three quarters described energy reporting as too complex – causing strain on resource and confusing board members when deciding the best energy metrics to support their business agenda.
It would be naïve to think that one consultation will solve everything but the swell of opinion in favour of serious change will undoubtedly influence the outcome. The importance of three government departments working together to address business issues should not be underplayed: this consultation could succeed where others have failed.
However, what matters is that all voices are heard, from the vocal minority to the silent majority. All affected businesses must have their say. Inenco has already submitted the results of our initial research to DECC, BIS and HMT and we will continue to collect views as part of the main consultation to make sure all businesses have the chance to feed their opinions into the process. For more information, visit www.inenco.com/haveyoursay.
This is the chance for all businesses to give their views on decisions that will shape the energy tax landscape for years to come. It’s time to have your say.
Dave Cockshott is the Chief Commercial Officer at Inenco.
This is a sponsored article.