23 February 2023
by Sarah Morgan

Government action to 'supercharge' British industries and economy

300 businesses across the UK will benefit from the ‘British Industry Supercharger’ announces the UK government.

© Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

The targeted measures to ensure the energy costs for key UK industries are in line with other major economies around the world will be made available ‘to sectors particularly exposed to the cost of electricity’, says the Government, as it singles out steel, metals, chemicals and paper.

These industries employ around 400,000 skilled workers across the UK, and support more through their supply chains. The move is aimed at levelling the playing field for British companies across Europe. In 2019 their exports made up around 28% of the UK total.

Proposed changes under this legislation will exempt firms from the certain costs arising from renewable energy obligations such as the Feed in Tariff, Contracts for Difference and the Renewables Obligation, as well as GB Capacity Market costs, while exploring reductions on network charges, costs industrial users pay for their supply of electricity.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch says, ‘This is carefully crafted support that will mean strategically-important UK industries like steel and chemicals remain competitive on the world stage. We will back these businesses to keep on growing our economy and delivering high-quality jobs and investment into the UK, as well as the products we rely on for our everyday lives and work.’

However, British Ceramic Confederation Chief Executive Robert Flello says, 'Whilst this may be welcome news for other energy-intensive industries, it is no help at all for the vast majority of UK ceramic manufacturers, many of whom provide essential components for the manufacture of steel and glass, as well as other manufacturing processes across the UK...Excluding an essential manufacturing sector such as UK ceramics from support for electro-intensives is short-sighted.'

The delivery mechanisms and timelines for implementation will be consulted on in the spring, with an expectation that they’ll be rolled out from spring 2024 onwards.