Shows Business Energy Users Fear Carbon Cutting Regulation will
Make UK Uncompetitive
on: February 13, 2008, 3:09 am
Release Author: npower
Release Summary: A survey of British businesses, conducted by npower
business has revealed strong concern that Government regulation
to reduce carbon emissions will make the country uncompetitive and
add more costs than benefits
Release Body: A survey of British businesses, conducted by npower
business has revealed strong concerns that Government regulation
to reduce carbon emissions will make the UK uncompetitive and add
more costs than benefits.
The fifth npower
Business Energy Index (nBEI 5) canvassed 200 senior
managers and energy buyers at small and medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs) and large industrial firms on attitudes to energy use, costs
and C02 emissions, revealing unease within the
business community about the existing CO2 reduction
framework of regulation.
When questioned about the new Carbon Reduction Commitment
(CRC) – a new carbon reduction scheme aimed at large
businesses, announced in the 2007 Energy White Paper*
– 71% of intensive energy users said they believed that the
scheme would make the UK uncompetitive. When asked about the implementation
of such regulation, 63% of respondents said they thought the costs
would outweigh the benefits. Only 48% believed that the
CRC would achieve its target of removing 1.2 million tonnes
of CO2 from the atmosphere each year by 2020.
further concern, 75% of intensive energy users surveyed said they
thought the combined pressures of the Climate Change Levy,
the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the new CRC
will place an undue burden on business.
Government has shown a desire to involve businesses in meeting the
UK’s CO2 reduction targets and introduced
a framework of regulation to incentivise and reward emission reduction,
but npower business’s findings indicates companies need further
convincing that this is the best method. Comments from the report
suggest that British businesses feel penalised as other European
and global businesses do not have to conform to the same administrative
and financial requirements imposed by UK regulation.
have faced a raft of new legislation in recent years, with more
now promised in the form of the CRC, so it is understandable
that they may feel the responsibility to reduce CO2 is
being placed at their door. However, with the UK’s CO2
emission targets becoming legally binding this year, we
cannot escape the fact that all businesses will be called on to
reduce their carbon footprint,” said Paul Coffey,
managing director of npower business.
the need to actively reduce CO2 has become a business
requirement in the last few years, it will increasingly become a
priority as low carbon outputs become evermore linked with strong
financial performance. Those that identify the advantages of low
carbon operations now, and work within the existing legislative
framework, will be the ones that benefit in the future,”
also pointed to the fact that advice is available from energy providers
and government organisations, which can assist businesses in reducing
CO2 output. The nBEI clearly suggests
businesses are in need of guidance: 56% agreed they would value
help in reducing CO2 emissions and 50% said they
would welcome guidance to improve energy efficiency.
the findings suggest a lack of support for carbon reduction regulation
in business, finding 88% of respondents stating they support the
Government’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions
and 56% said they thought compliance with climate change agreements
had resulted in energy savings or process improvements. Also, 36%
said they believed there were commercial advantages to be had from
a small carbon footprint.
Coffey pointed to the fact that, “Businesses will have
to develop policies to manage the risks associated with corporate
energy use including cost, environmental and societal risks.
In this way, decisions on buying and investment in energy
efficiency measures that can reduce CO2 outputs
can be assessed on a more holistic basis, rather than just cost.
This moves away from a quick win scenario in which energy efficiency
measures are only made for financial gain to a more progressive
strategy in which the approach to energy
management and CO2 reduction is aligned with
Notes to Editor:
The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) is a mandatory
cap and trade scheme, which will apply to large non-energy intensive
public and private sector organisations. The CRC was
first detailed in a 2007 Energy White Paper.
telephone interviews were conducted in October and November 2007
with 200 UK businesses, comprising 100 SMEs with significant energy
usage and 100 major energy users.
Details: PR contact:
Head of Market Communications
0121 703 3734
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