A survey of EEF members, including food and drink manufacturers, found that one third of companies believed the government had a long-term energy strategy, compared with almost two thirds that disagreed or had no view.
It also found 4% of firms believed energy infrastructure had improved, while 25% said it had worsened.
EEF called for the government to re-instate an annual energy statement and a series of reforms to remedy the concerns raised by members of the idustry.
Claire Jakobsson, head of climate and environment policy at EEF, said manufacturers’ confidence in the government’s management of security of supply was “tepid at best”.
‘High degree of uncertainty’
“The last 18 months have been a high degree of uncertainty in the energy market as a result of numerous policy changes, the Brexit vote and two new administrations in a short period of time,” added Jakobsson.
“We need a meaningful annual statement that sets out a clear and stable direction of travel for energy policy as part of an overarching industrial strategy.”
EEF said the government’s decision to combine the business and energy departments would provide an opportunity to establish an annual energy statement.
The organisation wanted the new statement to outline key policy mechanisms, funding choices and provide clear understanding of the government’s vision for energy policy and decarbonisation.
Three key points
Three key points that EEF wanted the statement to cover were: a full phase-out strategy for coal power by 2025, a strategy for the uptake of Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) and details on future support for new low-carbon generation.
“Whilst there has been significant attention paid to how we supply our electricity there continues to be too little focus on how and when we use it,” added Jakobsson.
“Taking action on this will save significant sums of money, both for the system as a whole and companies. The potential is there, but significant reform will be necessary if we are to realise it.”
However, the current policy framework is unlikely to deliver this without reform, according to EEF.
EEF’s energy wishlist
- A full phase-out strategy for coal power by 2025
- A strategy for the uptake of Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS)
- Details on future support for new low-carbon generation