The long-awaited Energy Bill was finally announced to the House of Commons in November. Interestingly, the Coalition Government chose to release it on the exact same day Lord Justice Leveson released his own report into media regulation. Governments often choose to double up like this in order to hide bad news… so what was the contents of the Energy Bill and is it indeed bad news for business energy management and in particular, companies looking to maintain competitiveness in terms of their energy supply?
Well the bottom line would report that it’s a mixed bag, and it very much depends on the size of your organisation. We all appreciate there is an urgent need for widespread infrastructure changes to the energy industry in this country, along with a managed move away from high-carbon energy sources, in line with EU targets. The pertinent issue, of course… is who pays. Big business has already expressed concern that the bill might land on their doorstep and in quick response suggested such price rises will render manufacture in the UK unsustainable, leading to moves away from this country. Energy secretary Ed Davey agreed that these businesses will be protected, with substantial subsidies, remarking "decarbonisation should not mean deindustrialisation. There would be no advantage in simply forcing UK businesses to relocate to other countries."
OK, so if not big business, then who? Well the fear has now moved away from big business, and towards the SME sector. It is now for the SMEs to fight their corner, with National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, John Walker, arguing that the “remorseless rise in business energy costs is hurting not only individual businesses but also the competitiveness of the UK as a whole… utilities are the main cause of rising business energy costs for 45% of small firms.”
Certainly all businesses are feeling the effects of year-on-year hikes in energy prices, especially (as with the domestic market) when we enter the winter months. The answer will lie in more energy efficiency measures taken up by small and medium sized businesses, combined with sourcing the most competitive energy prices for your business and a quality business energy management
service through a reputable energy broker such as Utility Helpline.