U.K. measures to curb carbon emissions may raise power and gas bills for the biggest corporate consumers by as much as 36 percent by 2020, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said.
Energy-intensive companies will see energy bills soar by as much as 5 million pounds ($7.6 million) a year due to carbon taxes and support for nuclear and renewable energy, according to a study e-mailed today by the department. Medium-sized companies face an average rise of 22 percent, or 330,000 pounds.
The government is spurring renewables and nuclear power to meet the U.K.’s target to cut greenhouse gases 34 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels. It’s also seeking to gain a bigger share of the 3.3 trillion-pound global market for clean energy while sparing households the burden of carbon cuts. Consumer bills will be reduced by 166 pounds, or 11 percent by 2020.
“Our strategy of shifting to alternatives like renewables, and of being smarter with how we use energy, is helping those that need it most save money on their bills,” Energy Secretary Ed Davey said in a statement. “The picture for businesses is less positive, which is why our new proposals to exempt and compensate the most energy intensive industries from certain policy impacts are crucial.”
The study shows costs to business have risen since the government last published an analysis in November 2011. Then, the maximum impact of government policies on the heaviest corporate energy users was a 20-percent rise in 2020; with the projection for medium-sized companies being a 19-percent gain.