By David Bicknell
It seems as if with the party conference season not far off, discussions are taking place around the edge of government over energy policy, which may have some implications down the line as far as business energy costs and climate change legislation are concerned.
It follows a leak to the Daily Telegraph of a note to David Cameron discussing the impact of energy and climate change policies on energy prices, Although the focus of the letter is on consumer energy prices, it is possible that a wider review may also need to examine the effect of government policies in the form of climate change legislation on businesses.
The letter suggests that four policies stand out as having the most significant impact on household energy bills: carbon pricing (both the carbon price floor and the EU emissions trading scheme), the new Energy Company Obligation, the Electricity Market Reform package and the Renewables Obligation.
The letter goes on to ask whether policies can be opened up, particularly support for relatively high-cost technologies such as offshore wind, in a way that minimises cost and disruption to investment.
It’s possible that, as the Guardian suggests, the leaked letter is part of a sabre-rattling exercise ahead of the conference season. On the other hand, with consumers strapped for cash, energy prices on an ever upwards spiral, and businesses struggling in a stagnant economy, a healthy debate over energy policy is perhaps not a bad idea, though, as the Guardian headline puts it, that risks pitting fossil fuels against renewable energy.
There is some more background to the story here: