EY comments on the Energy and Climate Change Committee announcement

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James Close, lead partner for Sustainability and Cleantech services at EY, comments on the announcement made today by the Energy and Climate Change Committee:

“We agree that the UK has the opportunity to lead the low carbon agenda internationally alongside countries which have already invested heavily in this area, such as China. However, to be able to do this we need more commitment from businesses as well as coherent, consistent and stable policy support from Government.

“According to ITEM Club’s last forecast, the cash balances of private non-financial companies are worth over £754 billion, a staggering 50% of GDP, but business investment last year only increased by 1.2%. Now is the perfect time for companies to start investing in energy efficiency schemes such as building retrofits, energy control systems or renewable power generation. The financial case has become increasingly appealing as renewable power becomes cheaper and energy prices are rising.

“As well as profiting from the investment in these programmes businesses can benefit from an enhanced reputation, carbon reductions, energy price stability and security of energy supply.  Furthermore, they and the UK supply chain can develop the goods, services and intellectual property to stimulate export growth in economies such as China.

“From a government perspective, the clarity and detail from various policy announcements must be judged against future investment in the renewable sector - where the UK competes with other countries for capital - and energy efficiency - which has the potential to improve UK productivity.  Uncertainty risks delaying much needed investment further, undermining the UK's ability to achieve its 2020 targets and benefit from the creation of green jobs. For the UK be a true low carbon leader, businesses and government must seize the opportunity.”