Guest Blog: npower’s Wayne Mitchell on Energy Matters

Reduce energy red tape – make your voice heard Red tape is one of those expressions, like winter cold, that is never popular or welcome – but is nevertheless a […]

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By george marshall

Reduce energy red tape – make your voice heard

Red tape is one of those expressions, like winter cold, that is never popular or welcome – but is nevertheless a fact of life. So any initiative to reduce the bureaucratic burden of red tape for businesses has got to be good news.

That’s why we welcome the forthcoming government consultation into the business energy regulatory framework

The controversial Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, will be in the spotlight, along with the Climate Change Levy (CCL) and possibly also Climate Change Agreements (CCAs)

Simplification the goal

It will be interesting to see if the government follows through on its previously expressed desire to make energy regulations simpler. For example, by combining the CRC, CCA and CCL into one single instrument.

There has also been speculation that the CRC could be abolished, and the Climate Change Levy expanded. But this consultation is to get the view from businesses before a decision is made.

Certainly, in a recent survey we conducted among the manufacturing sector, there is an appetite for change. Most of those asked thought they had too much red tape to contend with, with 74% agreeing there was an excess of energy-related bureaucracy for businesses.

Business influence important

The forthcoming consultation is also seen as important, with four out of five respondents saying they think it’s important that British businesses influence changes to the CCL and CRC.

You can read more about this consultation, the background behind these regulations and how to participate, in our latest Energy Matters report (see below for how to get your free copy).

As ever, we’re very much behind ensuring our customers have a voice in the decision making process.

This latest government consultation also echoes our own Red Tape Challenge campaign, which we ran back in 2011 to coincide with the government’s initiative to reduce the regulatory burden for UK businesses.

Opinion similar in 2011

At the time, one in three businesses did not believe that legislation such as the CRC, CCL and CCAs – along with the Renewables Obligation and Feed in Tariffs – would support the necessary investment in low-carbon infrastructure the UK needs.

Almost 70% of businesses wanted to see the CRC simplified and more than half wanted it scrapped. Opinion was split on CCL and CCAs, with 29% wanting to see them scrapped, and 32% believing they should stay.

Engage to make a difference

I suspect not much has changed. Businesses still want simplification and greater certainty – not only to help them manage their own obligations, but also to support the UK in meeting its carbon reduction targets and raise the investment needed for low-carbon generation.

So if you feel strongly, I suggest you engage with this consultation to make your voice heard. Email [email protected] to request your copy of Energy Matters, which has the extra information and details you need.

Let’s see if this time we can really make a difference to the levels of energy-related red tape.