Energy review needs ‘real teeth’, says EEF

emissions300 A government statement announcing a review of competition in the energy industry received some albeit sometimes sceptical support from manufacturers today.

Commenting on the announcement during the Energy Secretary’s annual energy statement, EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler said that while the manufacturers’ organisation supported the idea of competition review of the UK’s energy market, it would need to have “real teeth”.

Scuoler believed that “given the numerous reviews into the energy market and competition that have taken place over the years, and their subsequent failure to deliver any real change, government must ensure that this time it will make a material difference by undertaking a rigorous evidence-based approach, with real teeth.”

Specifically on the government’s intention to review green levies, he went on: “It is clear that unilateral climate change policies are adding costs to the UK manufacturing industry that are not borne by our competitors. We welcome any action that investigates the benefits of such policies, their costs to business and their impacts on the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, both at UK and global level. We must remember that we can’t tackle climate change alone and the UK must push for a global agreement which addresses the issue of competitiveness and delivers genuine global reductions.”

On the need to tackle the rising cost of energy for industry, Scuoler said that while the price of energy for residential consumers has featured heavily in the news recently, it was important that government also remembered the costs faced by the manufacturing sector.

“We would urge the government to recognise the impact of rising energy prices and uncompetitive green levies on the UK manufacturing sector’s ability to grow and compete in a highly competitive global marketplace. EEF has long argued that the energy costs associated with manufacturing in the UK put us at a competitive disadvantage with the rest of the world, hampering the sector’s ability to thrive and continue playing a key role in rebalancing the economy,” he concluded.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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