Majority of UK energy efficiency firms against Brexit, survey finds

A majority of energy efficiency businesses in the UK believe remaining in the EU is in their best interests. That’s according to a survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

A majority of energy efficiency businesses in the UK believe remaining in the EU is in their best interests.

That’s according to a survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Energy Efficiency Verification Specialists (EEVS), which questioned 62 companies in the sector ahead of the referendum later this month.

A total of 64% said they prefer for the UK to be part of the EU while 30% said they don’t know and 6% voted out.

Those businesses against a Brexit believe energy efficiency is an area “likely to be ignored by any future government outside of the EU as it is an easy area of regulation to demonstrate cutting red tape for businesses”.

Other reasons for the sector to stay in is its access “to a bigger pool of suppliers” in energy and “being part of a bigger market makes it more affordable to take action plus being subject to EU legislation on energy savings drives forward”.

The energy efficiency firms also believe legislative requirement and incentives “would disappear under this government”, removing the business case for many companies.

Furthermore they said the EU has a greater overall focus on energy and climate as well as targets and legislation.

On the other hand companies that prefer to leave the EU said they “signed up to a free trade agreement, not political and fiscal union”.

Asked about the impacts they expect from a possible EU exit, around 40% of them said it would increase energy prices and the cost of procuring energy saving technologies, around 20% said they don’t know and almost 10% believe it won’t affect power prices.

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said Brexit could add £500 million to consumer’s energy bills by 2020 while former Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the country would be able to scrap VAT on their bills if it leaves the EU.