UK Government Introduces Supercharger Plan for Key Industries

On 1st April 2024, the UK Department for Business and Trade officially launched the British Industry Supercharger programme. This initiative aims to not only lower operational costs for key sectors in the UK, but also level the competitive playing field internationally.  

In this blog, we’ll look into the initiative and how it can impact businesses in the UK, as well as provide advice on how to use the plan to save on energy bills.  

Significant Savings for Energy-Intensive Industries (EIIs) 

The scheme will target sectors such as steel, metals, chemicals, cement, glass, and paper, since they are heavily dependent on electricity. The scheme seeks to equalise energy costs with those of other major economies, after businesses in the UK faced a disproportionate spike in costs in the last few years compared to their European counterparts. The scheme also hopes to maintain the UK’s competitive edge and appeal for international investment. 

The initiative is expected to benefit around 370 businesses, employing 400,000 skilled workers across the UK, with projected savings between £320 million and £410 million in 2025. 

Comprehensive Support Measures 

At the heart of the Supercharger are full exemptions from certain renewable energy policy costs, such as: 

  • The Feed in Tariff 
  • Contracts for Difference 
  • The Renewables Obligation 
  • GB Capacity Market costs 

Additionally, a significant 60% reduction in network charges will be applied, translating to average savings of £24-£31/MWh for those industries most reliant on electricity. 

Ensuring Global Competitiveness 

As mentioned previously, this programme has been designed to help UK businesses achieve parity with EU counterparts in terms of energy costs, as well as attract international investment.  

The scheme also aligns with the government’s broader goals outlined in the 2022 Energy Security Strategy, addressing the challenge of higher industrial electricity prices and embracing the opportunities presented by the emerging green economy. 

Industry-Wide Welcome 

The Supercharger’s introduction has been met with enthusiasm across various sectors of the UK, signalling a collective step towards a sustainable, competitive future for the nation’s most energy-demanding businesses. 

A Broader Context 

The British Industry Supercharger is part of a series of measures the UK government has been implementing to support EIIs.  

Since 2013, over £2.5 billion has been granted to such industries to help offset electricity costs, and to give them a boost in terms of global competition.  

In 2021, this support amounted to over £360 million through compensation and exemptions from indirect policy costs. 

Building on these efforts, the Energy Intensive Industries Compensation Scheme was extended in April 2022. 

Furthermore, the 2018 Autumn Budget introduced the £315 million Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to aid high-energy-use businesses in reducing energy bills and carbon emissions through 2027.  

Additionally, the Energy Bill Relief Scheme has provided a £18 billion support package for non-domestic energy users, including EIIs, for this winter. 

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