Energy policy hits medium businesses hardest
Energy policy has pushed up bills for medium-sized businesses by one fifth, according to government's own analysis published today.
Those using between 2GWh and 20GWh of electricity a year and between 2.8GWh and 28GWh of gas are the biggest losers from government intervention.
Heavy industry has seen a smaller bill impact of between 1 per cent and 14 per cent, which will rise to up to 36 per cent in 2020.
However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) stressed that households were typically £64 a year better off than they would be without green policies.
Energy secretary Edward Davey said global gas prices are squeezing households and green measures were reducing reliance on imports. "The analysis shows that our strategy of shifting to alternatives like renewables, and of being smarter with how we use energy, is helping those that need it most save money on their bills," he said.
"The picture for businesses is less positive, which is why our new proposals to exempt and compensate the most energy intensive industries from certain policy impacts is crucial. Nothing would be gained from forcing industry, jobs and emissions abroad."
Decc urged businesses to improve their energy efficiency and take advantage of electricity demand reduction incentives that are due to be included in the Energy Bill.
It also noted the figures for energy-intensive users did not account for exemptions from certain green levies that the government is considering.