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Major energy users call for more certainty over energy bills

Uncertainty over how plans in the Energy Bill will affect end-user costs was a key topic for debate at a conference co-hosted by Haven Power and Energy Live News.

The event, designed to look at the future energy mix, promoted discussion among some of the largest energy users in the UK, with many representatives agreeing that it is important to act on the uncertainty, not just acknowledge it.

Guest speakers Kevin McCullough, Chief Executive, British Coal, Maf Smith, Deputy Chief Executive, Renewable UK, Tony Ward, Head of Power and Utilities, Ernst & Young and Fergus McReynolds, Senior Climate and Environment Policy Advisor, EEF, all put forward their perspectives on how the UK can ‘keep the lights on’ while maintaining the interests of large businesses and manufacturers. Discussion was based around policy and proposed schemes such as Contract for Difference (CfD), the role of nuclear and shale gas and whether more self-generation should be encouraged.

As well as the panel debate, guests were treated to a talk from Damien Speight, Head Trader at Drax, who looked at historical worldwide energy crises such as the Korean blackouts and Ukranian gas crisis. Dorothy Thompson, Chief Executive of Drax gave delegates an insight into the transformation of Drax into a predominantly biomass-fuelled generator, which was followed by a tour of the power station.

Chief executive of Haven Power, Peter Bennell, comments: “This event has proven to be a fascinating insight into the feelings of those responsible for energy purchasing at some of the UK’s largest companies. It was very obvious that the attendees and speakers were very concerned over how the government would implement energy market reforms without penalising businesses.

“We hope that we’ve been able to educate guests on the benefits of biomass as an energy source, but of course it’s only part of the energy mix going forward. We, as much as the end-users, want to see bills remain stable but in order to do this we need to know well in advance the costs that we will incur to support carbon reducing initiatives.”

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