Energy explanation

The British Plastics Federation has written to Ed Miliband asking him to explain disparities between UK and continental energy costs.


The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has written to Ed Miliband, the UK secretary of state for energy and climate change, asking him to explain disparities between UK and continental energy costs.


In a hard-hitting letter, the BPF cited recent major upswings in energy costs for its members: for example, a typical moulded components manufacturer’s gas bill went up 100 per cent and its electricity bill 60 per cent and a compounder’s electricity prices increased 45 per cent.


The BPF says that cost increases such as these are practically impossible to pass on due to the cost-down policies of major customers.


Peter Davis, director general of the BPF, said: ‘Our members are deeply concerned that they are paying more for their energy than competitors in France and Germany.


‘This effects international competitiveness and will have consequences for UK investment, inward investment and business relocation if it is allowed to continue, unchecked, by your department.


‘We have not had any satisfactory reasons why there is a price difference with Europe and why it takes so long for prices to fall as they should have done.


‘While the government expresses concerns about energy prices paid by consumers, little is said about the effects on industrial users.


‘We don’t see much progress in the liberalisation of the European energy market.’


The BPF also raised concerns over the UK’s security of energy supply and urged the government to accelerate planning permission and attract investment for modernised nuclear power capacity, natural gas storage and wind farms.