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UK’s biggest energy users ‘may put off net zero spending due to gas crisis’

·2-min read
The cost of energy is set to soar by 50% in April (John Walton/PA) (PA Archive)
The cost of energy is set to soar by 50% in April (John Walton/PA) (PA Archive)

Eight in 10 of the UK’s biggest energy users have said they are worried by rapid rises in energy prices and many are worried it could put their environmental investments at risk.

Intensive energy users largely have plans to cut their carbon emissions, according to a new survey.

Energy giant Vattenfall said that 90% of the companies said they planned to invest more than 7% of their revenues on reaching net zero over the next half decade.

But more than a third said they are thinking about calling off some investments so they can deal with the gas price crisis.

The decisions they (companies) make now will make or break their plans to tackle climate change

Stewart Dawson

The price of gas has multiplied several times compared to a year ago. It is due in part to high demand from China low wind speeds in Europe and restricted supply.

It is likely to cause energy bills to increase by around 50% for most British households from the beginning of April when the new price cap is set.

But the crisis is also hitting businesses around the world, especially those in sectors that burn a lot of gas, including manufacturers.

“Businesses across the UK are clearly alive to the need to tackle climate change and reach net zero,” said Vattenfall Networks managing director Stewart Dawson.

“But without the right investment in their networks and systems, plans to switch to electric vehicles and increase their self-generation will have to be shelved if their networks can’t cope.

“The decisions they make now will make or break their plans to tackle climate change. We need to make it easier for businesses to gain access to the advice and support to show the options available to them to reach net zero in the most affordable way possible.”

The survey asked more than 500 senior decision makers in the UK what their plans are.

Investments that they might abandon could include improving energy efficiency, installing chargers for electric cars and buying solar panels for roofs.

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