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Energy UK hosts roundtable on business energy costs

Energy UK is hosting a roundtable today (Wednesday February 20) with UK business trade associations to discuss the impact of the ongoing gas crisis on the business sector.

The virtual event will be attended by 15 trade bodies representing different sectors across the UK economy, covering both large industrial users and SMEs. Energy UK’s Chair, Lord John Hutton and Chief Executive, Emma Pinchbeck will host the event.  

Many businesses are facing severe difficulties as a result of sharply rising energy costs and with the outlook unlikely to improve in the near future, the roundtable will be an opportunity for their representatives to detail the ongoing challenges and concerns.

At the same time, energy retailers have also been hit hard by unprecedentedly high wholesale gas prices lasting several months, which has led to almost 30 suppliers exiting the domestic market since August – with those remaining sustaining heavy losses, as they have been unable to recoup the cost of supplying their customers.     

While domestic customers were shielded from the impact of record gas prices for several months by the price cap, no such protection is in place for businesses. Many businesses, especially those who have come to the end of long-term fixed contracts, are finding that their energy costs are inevitably rising steeply with wholesale gas prices having increased by 500% over the past year.       

The trade bodies attending include the CBI, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Make UK, British Beer and Pub Association, British Chamber of Commerce, Energy Intensive Users Group, Airport Operators Association, Engineering and Manufacturers Alliance, ukactive, UK Steel and the National Farmers’ Union.   

Energy UK’s chief executive, Emma Pinchbeck said:

“The energy sector is very aware that many business customers are extremely concerned about their rising energy costs, exacerbating the economic pressures they were already facing. As has been well-documented, energy retail businesses are also struggling in the face of record-breaking gas prices; high energy prices impact the entire economy.

“We want to hear about the critical challenges being faced by different businesses, to discuss what support might be useful or possible from the energy industry, and to work together to show Government what intervention might help the economy during this challenging period”

Notes to Editors

  1. Energy UK is the trade association for the energy industry with over 100 members spanning every aspect of the energy sector – from established FTSE 100 companies right through to new, growing suppliers and generators, which now make up over half of our membership. We represent the diverse nature of the UK’s energy industry with our members delivering nearly 80% of the UK’s power generation and over 95% of the energy supply for the 28 million UK homes as well as many businesses. The energy industry invests £13bn annually, delivers nearly £30bn in gross value added on top of the nearly £100bn in economic activity through its supply chain and interaction with other sectors, and supports over 700,000 jobs in every corner of the country.