Businesses to shape new energy cost easing scheme

Businesses affected by rising energy prices are being encouraged to provide information and data to help shape a new energy cost easing scheme, the Government has announced.

The £250 million scheme, designed to ease the burden of costly electricity bills on energy intensive firms, is to be launched in spring 2013 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The Energy Intensive Industries (EII) Package hopes to lessen the impact of restrictive energy and climate change policies, and the cost of electricity; on firms who are losing out to international competition as a result.

The package comes in light of Government estimations warning that energy and climate change policies could push business electricity bills up by 28 per cent by 2020.

£250 million will be pumped into the EII package to be handed out in direct financial assistance to a targeted group of the most energy-intensive businesses.

Vince Cable, business secretary, said: "The Government is committed to ensuring that manufacturing is able to remain competitive during the shift to a low carbon economy.

"The measures proposed in our EII Package will offer crucial support to energy intensive industries."

Energy and climate change secretary, Edward Davey, also commented: "As we manage the transition to a cleaner energy mix, it's important that we are alive to adverse impacts felt by energy intensive industries which face tough competition overseas.

"The evidence we are calling for today will help us to target the financial support we have available to those businesses that need it most."

The Government is now calling for evidence from companies and trade bodies about their energy consumption in order to fairly set compensation targets.