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Manufacturing jobs threatened by sustainable energy drive

The government's determination to reduce carbon dioxide emission and boost sustainable cheap business electricity  could be putting thousands of manufacturing jobs at risk, a new report has warned.

According to a study by policy analyst Civitas, green policies have increased business energy bills by 21 per cent and this figure could rise to as much as 70 per cent by 2020, compromising companies' financial position and endangering jobs in the steel, chemicals and cement industries.

Ineos Group Holdings, which is the second largest facility in Europe for extracting chlorine from brine, said if business energy prices continue to rise, it may not be able to continue to operate in Britain. 

The firm said that 46,000 jobs in the UK chemical industry will be under threat over the next few years, while a further 87,000 jobs dependent on the industry will also be in danger. 

Jeremy Nicholson, co-author of the study, told Bloomberg: "If we do not see reform of energy and climate legislation a whole swathe of businesses will not be able to operate competitively in the UK."