By Marcus Leach

npower is urging businesses to act now to ensure their views on current UK energy legislation are heard as part of a government consultation on reducing red tape.

The call to action coincides with the formal opening of the Government’s Energy Red Tape Challenge initiative, which is being launched today (Friday) by Minister of State for Energy, Charles Hendry and promises to scrap burdensome energy regulation impacting on UK businesses.

npower has already sought the views of close to 100 major energy users as part of its own ‘Red Tape Challenge — Have your Say’ campaign, which was designed to provide businesses with a less time-consuming way to air their views on the current UK energy market.

The research asked businesses about the energy legislation they would keep, simplify or scrap. The results show that the legislation businesses are most concerned about include the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), the Renewables Obligation (RO), Feed-in-Tariffs (FiT) and Climate Change Levy (CCL) and Climate Change Agreements (CCAs). Key findings include:

- 51% of major energy users believe that the CRC should be scrapped
- 43% want the RO and FiTs simplified
- 41% think that changes should be made to the CCL and CCAs

Many also feel that current UK energy regulations will not raise the investment needed to ensure the country’s low carbon future. Businesses are calling on the government to either simplify or scrap some existing legislation to ensure targets can be met.

Wayne Mitchell, interim industrial and commercial markets director at npower, who is attending the Energy Red Tape Challenge launch at the Houses of Parliament, said:

“We welcome the Government’s commitment on reducing the legislative burden of regulation on British businesses both through this initiative and the promise of added support to help energy intensive businesses in the chancellor’s autumn statement later this month.

“Our consultation with major energy users shows very clearly that businesses want simplification on certain energy policy, not only to help them manage their own obligations, but to also help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets and help raise the investment needed for low carbon generation. It’s important that today’s event is a welcome opportunity to feedback these views to Government and start the conversation about how we work to alleviate businesses’ concerns.”

To ensure that the views of businesses are also heard on future energy legislation, npower has consulted with major energy users on the Government’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) White Paper package.

“Our research has found that businesses are worried about the EMR and frustrated due to the levels of uncertainty around it. Businesses need clarification on the future energy policy to help ensure certainty around future investment decisions," Wayne Mitchell continued.

“Some businesses we spoke to also voiced concern that if companies don’t have to be in the UK, then in the future they may seriously consider moving their operations to more regulation-light climes, if they haven’t already. This is a scenario no one wants to reach and hopefully one that can be avoided through greater communication between government and businesses on energy legislation — businesses want to be heard.”

npower’s report on the views of major energy users on energy legislation has been sent to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to be considered as part of its ongoing work around energy market reform, and is available to download at

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