Environment industry body calls for action plan on business energy efficiency

In order to achieve targets on combating climate change, the Government will have to find more money for tax relief on energy-saving equipment for companies, as well as a number of other measures, as part of a new action plan on energy efficiency, according to a new report by the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC).

A new report by the EIC sets out the steps that the organisation believes the Government should take to encourage the take-up of energy efficient techniques in British industry in order to decouple economic growth from growth in energy demand. These include a broadening in the new Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme for low energy technology (see related story) to £300 million per year, and an extension of the scheme to take account of the whole use of energy at a facility. There should also be consideration of a number of additional techniques for inclusion in the ECA scheme, such as heat recovery systems, leakage prevention devices, packaging and ovens, with certification achieved through a simple site audit by an accredited assessor.

“A new action plan is vital to deliver the major changes we need in business energy efficiency,” said Merlin Hyman, EIC Director. “The UK Government must build on the measures we have in place if we are to tackle the long term challenge of climate change.”

The Carbon Trust could also assist small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) further, says the report, with a significant part of the organisation’s resources dedicated to the drive towards making them energy efficient. The Trust should also consider the feasibility of setting up an insurance scheme for SMEs that invest in energy efficiency measures.

“This action plan would also be a major opportunity for the British economy – for example, the German Environment Ministry has predicted that measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2020 would create almost 200,000 new jobs and Government estimates suggest that the average business can save 15-20% of its energy costs through greater energy efficiency,” said Hyman.

EIC is also calling for all energy intensive companies to be given the opportunity to participate in the Climate Change Levy Agreements (see related story).

Creating the Climate for Change: A Post-Bonn Action Plan for Transforming Energy Efficiency in British Business is available from EIC at [email protected] for £10.

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