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Government ?must not block energy efficient investment?

Date 24 Oct 2006
Author The Editor

The government must remove barriers to energy efficiency business investment, manufacturer groups are warning.

An action plan to remove barriers preventing the industry realising its full potential in tackling climate change has been proposed by EEF Northern, the manufacturers’ organisation. The report examines how energy efficiency can help to meet the UK’s short, medium and long-term goals on reducing carbon emissions, and makes a number of proposals to increase gains from investment.

EEF Northern Director Alan Hall, said: “Energy Efficiency by all sectors, not just business, can play a major role in helping the UK meet its target for reducing emissions. However, government needs to up the ante and introduce more sophisticated measures to overcome the barriers to achieving greater energy efficiency.”

Research by Enviros has suggested that improved energy efficiency across the UK as a whole could contribute to a reduction in 30 million tonnes of carbon by 2020 (20% of current emissions). However, barriers to improving energy efficiency in business include lack of skills - especially in smaller companies - to assess the costs and benefits associated with investing in energy efficiency; hidden costs such as the need to pay specialists in areas such as safety; and lack of R&D in technology.

EEF’s energy survey showed that only 22% of companies with less than 50 workers are investing in energy efficiency. This compares with 48% of those with more than 500 employees. However, 40% of firms with less than 100 employees outside climate agreements had taken action to monitor and target their energy use and efficiency.

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