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Gloucestershire Business News

Independent energy review - good for business?

An independent review into the cost of energy is set to keep energy prices as low as possible.

The review, led by Professor Dieter Helm CBE, one of Britain's leading energy experts, will look at how the energy industry, government and regulators can keep the cost of electricity as low as possible, while ensuring the UK meets its domestic and international climate targets.

The review builds on the commitment made in the Industrial Strategy Green Paper and will consider the whole electricity supply chain - generation, transmission, distribution and supply. It will look for opportunities to reduce costs at each stage and consider the implications of the changing demand for electricity, including the role of innovative technologies such as electric vehicles, storage, robotics and artificial intelligence.

The ambition is for the UK to have the lowest energy costs in Europe, for both households and businesses.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: "All homes and businesses rely on an affordable and secure energy supply and the government is upgrading our energy system to make it fit for the future. We want to ensure we continue to find the opportunities to keep energy costs as low as possible, while meeting our climate change targets, as part of the Industrial Strategy.

"The review will consider how we can take advantage of changes to our power system and new technologies to ensure clean, secure and affordable supplies over the coming decades."

Professor Helm said: "The cost of energy always matters, especially in these exceptional times, with huge investment requirements to meet the decarbonisation and security challenges ahead over the next decade and beyond. Digitalisation, electric transport and smart and decentralised systems offer great opportunities. It is imperative to do all this efficiently, to minimise the burdens. Making people and companies pay excessively for policy and market inefficiencies risks undermining the objectives themselves.

"My review will be independent and sort out the facts from the myths about the cost of energy, and make recommendations about how to more effectively achieve the overall objectives."

The CBI has welcomed the review.

Neil Carberry, CBI Managing Director for People and Infrastructure, said: "Competitive energy prices are an important part of a meaningful industrial strategy. The CBI looks forward to working with the review to ensure any recommendations support continued business investment and innovation in a secure, flexible and low-carbon energy supply, together with efforts to improve energy efficiency."

The government is already taking action, and its package of relief for energy intensive industries was worth £260 million last year and there are financial incentives to switch to cleaner fuels and processes.

What do you think? Could the government do more to support businesses with their energy costs? Email mark@moosemarketingandpr.co.uk 

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