Energy Bill must address punishing business energy costs

30th November 2012

On the day that the long-awaited Energy Bill is published, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) reiterates its call to ensure that business needs remain at the heart of government energy policy.

The BCC's comprehensive energy survey shows that rising costs are adversely affecting business growth, and that the government must do more to ensure that the Bill clearly demonstrates benefit to businesses, growth and jobs.  BCC research from a survey of almost 3,500 businesses shows that: Nearly 40% of businesses feel that rising costs have adversely affected their growth, a clear signal that action is needed Almost a quarter of micro and small- and medium-sized businesses (22%) have experienced an unexpected increase in charges by their energy supplier over the past three years Over 60% of businesses were  unaware of the Green Deal, the government's flagship energy efficiency programme prior to completing the survey, and of those that are aware of the scheme, 30% are sceptical that savings anticipated by the government will actually be achieved Most businesses recognise the need to improve their energy efficiency, with 63% saying they are motivated to reduce their energy usage by environmental concerns  Commenting, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the BCC, said: -We have heard endless concerns about the rising costs of energy bills on households, but the impact that rising energy costs are having on businesses across the UK deserve the same attention. Increasing energy costs mean fewer jobs and less investment at a time when we are relying on the private sector to drive growth and wealth creation. The Energy Bill must outline energy policies that deliver affordability, certainty and security for both business and consumers. The government must get this right or the competitiveness of the UK as a whole will suffer as a result.

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