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Energy Sectors lukewarm response to pre Budget Measures

Last Weeks pre budget report announcement by the chancellor Alister Darling recieved a lukewarm response from the energy sector.   The energy sector had hoped for a greater stimulus for green energy and more measures to fight fuel poverty.

Alister Darling committed the government to a competition next year for three more carbon capture and storage demonstration projects, and to continued support for offshore wind at two Renewable Obligation Certifcates per megawatt hour for accredited schemes until 2014.

Darling also confirmed tax exemptions for income from feed in tariffs on generation and export streams in the domestic energy sector, as well as £50 million for manufacturing and testing facilities for offshore wind.

A boiler scrappage scheme, increased resources to reduce energy bills for disadvantaged energy customers and more funding for warm front, the government's flagship fuel poverty programme were welcomed.

However, campaigners pointed out that the extra £150 million for the latter did not restore funding to current levels.

Jenny saunders chief executive of fuel poverty charity National Energy Action, acknowledged that some of the poorest customers would be helped by the initiatives but warned that the measures did not go far enough.

The Pre Budget report revealed more information about a new Whitehall entity called Infrastructure UK, which has been given £90 million by the Treasury.  The new body will explore more schemes and will be channelled through the European Investment Bank.