5 September 2013
Worried business owners need urgent clarity about the Energy Market Reform (EMR) after a survey showed that 75% of UK companies were deeply concerned about its impact on their operations, according to the Energy Advice Line.
The poll by energy company Npower showed 97% of firms were worried the reforms would lead to higher energy prices while 86% feared it would reduce their competitiveness.
Julian Morgan, managing director of the Energy Advice Line, the UK's leading price comparison, switching and advice service for energy users, called on the Department for Energy and Climate Change to provide more detail about the impact of the reforms on individual energy users.
"Non-domestic energy users are concerned and confused about how the EMR will effect their bottom line and their operations," Mr Morgan said.
"The Department for Energy and Climate Change needs to reassure firms about the benefits of these reforms and the long-term objectives.
"The last thing the UK economy needs is for firms to leave the UK as a means of avoiding the reforms.
"Worryingly, the survey also found that 15% of UK firms have no awareness of EMR at all and don't think it will have any impact on them.
"The evidence is clear the DECC needs to go back to basics and provide businesses of all sizes with more information about the EMR, from what it actually is and its purpose through to the impact it will have on individual firms and the long-term goals."
The DECC released its draft EMR legislation in July for the development of renewable projects to be built at a cost of up to £110 billion by 2020.
The complex proposals, aimed at delivering the UK with a decarbonised electricity network, set out draft strike prices for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind farms although support levels for nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS) have not yet been published.
"The next few years will see significant changes to the electricity market and probably rising prices. Consumers have no choice but to take control of their energy supplies or else the impact on their bottom line could be huge.
"This means firms need to have a workplace energy policy to reduce energy use, eliminate waste, and switch suppliers. The only certainty in an uncertain energy market is that shopping around and switching suppliers regularly can save consumers significant amounts of money."
The Energy Advice Line is the UK's leading impartial comparison, switching and advice service for businesses and householders. It actively campaigns for reform of the UK's energy market to boost competition, get consumers a better deal from suppliers and lower energy prices.
The Energy Advice Line's price comparison and switching service is free and completely impartial. Consumers can obtain energy quotes with a few computer strokes based on a diverse panel of energy suppliers including the major players and smaller independent utility companies.
For further information visit www.energyadviceline.org.uk