Energy Intensive Users Group Comments on Government Response to the Helm Review on the Costs of Energy
Commenting on the Business Secretary’s response to Professor Helm’s Cost of Energy Review, Stephen Elliott, Chair of the Energy Intensive Users Group, said:
“A year on from the review, energy intensive industries are dismayed that the Government still doesn’t have any immediate plan to reform the UK’s expensive electricity system. This is despite a 2017 Conservative Party manifesto pledge to target the lowest energy costs in Europe, and significant energy and carbon price increases since then.
“We needed urgent action to address spiralling energy costs that are putting UK energy intensive industries at increasing risk, instead we were told that proposals set out in the review to reduce policy costs for industry had been effectively rejected.”
“The Government’s own statistics show electricity prices for large industrial users are the highest in Europe, sitting an incredible 90% above the EU average. This is even before we consider new proposals on carbon prices and potentially damaging reforms to electricity network charging from Ofgem.
“Professor Helm was very clear that decarbonising the UK’s electricity system had cost more than necessary and that reforms were essential, including proposing industrial consumers should be fully exempted from a range of legacy policy costs still being added to bills. It is vital these or equivalent measures are put in place as soon as possible along with an urgent review of the UK’s unilateral top-up carbon price. We of course welcome the attention paid to industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation, but this will unfortunately do little to tackle the price of energy in the UK that continues to undermine industrial investment.
“Government has been sitting on Professor Helm’s Review and its own subsequent Call for Evidence for months with no visible action. It needs to start now if our sectors are to regain our competitiveness and meet the ambitions set out in last year’s Industrial Strategy.”
The Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG) represents the UK’s energy intensive industries (EIIs) including manufacturers of steel, chemicals, fertilisers, paper, cement, lime, ceramics, gypsum, glass, aluminium and industrial gases that compete in global markets and depend on access to secure, internationally competitive energy supplies to remain in business. These foundation industries employ 200,000 people directly, support 800,000 jobs including their supply chains, and make a £15bn pa contribution to UK GDP.
For further information contact Richard Warren on 07825 533945.