Energy policy ‘must be explained’’

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THE Government must work harder to convince Yorkshire businesses that its energy policies make sense, according to new research.

A study conducted by npower suggests that business leaders in the North are still unconvinced by the economic case for Government energy policy. The data reveals that 64 per cent of businesses surveyed in the North were “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that current energy policies reflect the needs of business in Britain.

Even more businesses (68 per cent) expressed a lack of confidence in planned energy policies, including the Government’s flagship Electricity Market Reform (EMR), which is designed to help the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy. The findings indicated that businesses aren’t willing to see their energy bills increase in order to financially support low carbon energy schemes, such as those proposed through the EMR. Eighty one per cent of the 600 senior decision makers surveyed by npower across Britain ranked affordability as the most important energy related issue for their businesses, over security of supply and the move to a low carbon economy.

Wayne Mitchell, head of industrial and commercial at npower, said: “This survey has revealed just how sceptical businesses in the North are about the effectiveness and impact of energy policies – the very policies that are going to have far-reaching and long-term impacts on their businesses. As political parties consider their energy manifestos, there is a clear case here for Government and the wider energy industry to work together to better educate businesses about the importance of these policy initiatives in securing the UK’s energy future.”