CBI calls on Government to descramble policies on energy efficiency

The Government must streamline overlapping policies that deter energy efficiency investment and establish it as a priority in the UK's energy debate, says the Confederation for British Industry (CBI).

In a new report, the CBI argues that energy efficiency has been neglected in the wider energy debate and calls for the Government to streamline policies to create a coherent framework and set out plans to engage businesses on the ground when designing, implementing and communicating policies.

The report, ‘Shining a Light: Uncovering the business energy efficiency opportunity’, also urges the Government to support large and energy-intensive users, back mid-sized businesses by using the Business Bank to raise awareness among firms of the financial schemes available and begin to look at how the Green Deal could be successfully expanded to business users.

Finally, it calls for MPs to consider how Business Rates could incentivise investment in energy efficiency by waiving rates for refurbishment of empty properties in the short-term.

CBI director for business environment policy, Rhian Kelly, said: “Energy efficiency has sneaked under the radar in the UK’s energy debate and is making a material contribution to UK growth. But there is so much economic and environmental potential that remains unfulfilled.

“With energy prices still on the rise, energy efficiency can help mitigate the impact on firms, particularly heavy users.

According to Kelly, businesses are frustrated with the tangle of overlapping policies that are “bureaucratic, complex and costly”.

“Some firms will have to report their energy use and emissions in different ways under different schemes, so the Government should assess all energy efficiency policies that affect business and come up with a simpler approach, where any new initiatives truly add value,” says Kelly.

“The Energy Efficiency Deployment Office will need to make its mark quickly if it is to spur higher spending on energy efficiency measures and it could start by talking more to businesses on the ground.

However, Kelly also called on businesses to step-up action on energy efficiency.

“Meanwhile, businesses also need to step up to the challenge. We have seen progress from many companies but others need to make the leap, showing strong leadership at the top with robust structures put in place to manage energy use.”

Leigh Stringer

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