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The Autumn Statement from the Chancellor

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Last week the Chancellor delivered the Autumn Statement where there are to be a number of key policy changes that will affect the UK energy market. Domestic energy and renewable energy were the two main talking points but there was no mention regarding commercial users of energy.

Regarding the domestic market, the Chancellor made a pledge to cut energy bills by £50. Financed by removing the environmental levies off the power companies such as ECO (Energy Company Obligation, designed to help the elderly and social housing sector with energy efficiency).

For renewables the subsides would be cut for solar and onshore wind; however off shore wind power received a small boost. Many planning applications are being blocked either by government bodies or lobbyists generating hysteria from local residents.

Fracking for shale gas was again endorsed with confirmation of income from production to be taxed at 30% instead of the standard 62%.

The biggest let down was for the commercial users of energy. Richard Halstead, the Midland director of EEF (the manufacturers’ organisation for UK manufacturing companies) said George Osborne missed an opportunity to help production firms to export by reducing energy bills. “Industry, especially energy intensive users, will be dismayed that government has failed to address the genuine concerns surrounding the uncompetitive price of energy for UK manufacturers. Companies looking to invest and create jobs in the UK need a long-term commitment by government to control costs increases and compensate those most affected.”


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