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Manufacturers call for action on energy efficiency

01 January, 2007

Manufacturers call for action on energy efficiency

Britain`s manufacturers are calling on the Government to step up its efforts to boost investment in energy efficiency. An action plan, published by EEF, the manufacturers` organisation, calls for the removal of barriers that are preventing industry from realising its full potential in tackling climate change.

According to EEF, these barriers include:

the benefit of investment being outweighed by the cost, or the uncertainty as to the exact cost preventing the investment going ahead;

hidden costs, such as the need to pay specialists in areas such as safety; and

the lack of skills, especially in smaller companies, to assess the costs and benefits associated with investing in energy efficiency.

An EEF survey of 230 UK companies has revealed that only 22% of firms with fewer than 50 workers are investing in energy efficiency. This compares with 48% of those with more than 500 employees. However, smaller companies are much more likely to monitor and target their energy use if they are participating in Climate Change agreements.

To address the perceived barriers, and to boost investment in energy efficiency, EEF is making several recommendations. It is calling for the government to:

expand eligibility to participate in Climate Change agreements;

improve incentives, particularly the working of Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs);

encourage the Carbon Trust to customise the support it provides to meet the varying needs of companies;

ensure that a new generation of energy efficiency experts is being developed; and

give greater weight in the tendering process for public procurement to the energy efficiency of the products offered by the competing companies.

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