CBI’s new report, Shining a Light: Uncovering the business energy efficiency opportunity, identifies a number of overlapping energy efficiency policies and calls on the government to streamline current legislation.
The CBI argues that energy efficiency is being critically undervalued by the government in the wider energy debate. As a result the CBI is asking government to re-assess all its current business energy efficiency policies to weed out those that don’t add value to the framework.
Rhian Kelly, CBI director for business environment policy, explained: “Energy efficiency has sneaked under the radar in the UK’s energy debate and is making a material contribution to UK growth. But there is so much economic and environmental potential that remains unfulfilled. With energy prices still on the rise, energy efficiency can help mitigate the impact on firms, particularly heavy users.”
In addition, the paper urges the department of energy and climate change to start looking at how the Green Deal can be expanded to the commercial sector, explore the implementation of new policy for combined heat and power and consider how business rates could be used to incentivise investment in energy efficiency.
Kelly elaborated: “The government could explore ways of using Business Rates more innovatively to reward those who plough money back into improving the energy performance of buildings. Meanwhile, businesses also need to step up to the challenge. We have seen progress from many companies but others need to make the leap, showing strong leadership at the top with robust structures put in place to manage energy use.”
She added: “Businesses are frustrated with the tangle of overlapping policies that are bureaucratic, complex and costly. Some firms will have to report their energy use and emissions in different ways under different schemes, so the government should assess all energy efficiency policies that affect business and come up with a simpler approach, where any new initiatives truly add value.”