On 17th May, the UK’s Department for the Economy (DfE) was looking at a few plans and schemes offering grant funding to help cover the cost of installing domestic energy efficiency measures. The DfE is proposing a new scheme called EnergyWise to replace the current scheme, which is due to close in March 2017. But how is the £8 million scheme going to be funded? This has triggered a lot of questions and concerns amongst the Northern Irish’s biggest energy users, as this could mean that NI companies might end up with larger energy bills by becoming ‘the unofficial scheme sponsors’! The DfE also stated that the very large energy users may be faced with a much greater increase than the average.
Manufacturing companies in Northern Ireland are not ‘impressed’ by these repercussions. It seems that the DfE has failed to look at the impact that this new scheme would have on NI businesses. Despite the fact that a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) has been carried out by the DfE, it hasn’t been published and NI manufacturers fear that it is not realistic and that the scheme would eventually diminish their economy and business growth. They also claim that the energy costs between NI and the ROI will be greater.
Is the DfE playing a fair game towards NI businesses? Is it wise to impose a ‘tax on energy’ to businesses in order to pay for domestic energy efficiency schemes? Should this not be coming from the government instead? One would believe so but the DfE might have other plans instead.
Let’s say that the NI businesses are eager to find out more about the consultation responses, which should be published sooner rather than later!
You can read more by clicking on this link: http://fuelpovertyni.org/?p=1035