British manufacturers concerned about changes to renewable energy policy

The majority of British manufacturers are concerned about changes to renewable energy policy and the bureaucracy that surrounds it, according to research by npower Business Solutions.

The survey of 100 decision-makers in the manufacturing industry revealed that 65% are concerned about how upcoming reforms may impact their investment in renewables.

Four in five (81%) said it is important that British businesses influence changes to the Climate Change Levy (CCL) and Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC). While, 74% of manufacturers agree or strongly agree that there is too much energy-related bureaucracy for businesses, despite Government efforts to simplify policy.

A majority (57%) think current and planned energy policies don’t reflect the needs of British businesses.

These figures come in the midst of a time of great change for the energy industry. The Chancellor recently promised to review the business energy regulatory framework and a consultation has been launched to discover the opinions and concerns of British businesses.

The upcoming consultation will consider the CCL and CRC energy efficiency schemes and how they both interact with other energy efficiency policies and regulations.

The British manufacturers surveyed by npower Business Solutions thought that removing the Climate Change Levy (CCL) might penalise companies which invest in green energy. Furthermore, 65% of manufacturers said they were concerned or very concerned about the impact of removing the CCL exemption on investment.

Wayne Mitchell, director of markets and innovation for npower Business Solutions, said: “Our survey clearly shows that while manufacturers welcome changes to simplify the energy landscape, these cannot be made at the expense of encouraging green energy. The Government must maintain the balance between reducing the regulatory burden on businesses and providing incentives for investment in renewables.

“Some are speculating that the CRC scheme will be removed, with the CCL being used to address the shortfall in funding. We would support this measure in principle if costs were allocated fairly, however quick decision making on this is essential to ensure businesses have certainty.”