Energy Bills Could See Up to Six in Ten UK Factories Forced to Close

Contender to become the country's next Prime minister and leader of the Conservative party British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (C) speaks with members of staff during a visit at the Jaguar Land Rover plant in Solihull, on August 23, 2022 as part of her political campaign. (Photo by Jacob King …
JACOB KING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Up to 60 per cent of factories in the UK are now facing possible closure over a massive surge in their energy bills, a manufacturers’ body in the country has warned.

Six in ten UK factories are now facing the possibility of winding up their operations over the rising cost of energy bills in the country, a group tasked with representing manufacturers, Make UK, has claimed.

The organisation has now urged for incoming Prime Minister Liz Truss to take “decisive action” to rescue large swathes of the sector, which it has described as being in “survival mode”.

According to a survey conducted by the body, just under 60 per cent of factories have described the massive spike in the cost of energy as threatening the future operations of their business, with over 40 per cent of respondents saying that they have already seen their bills spike by 100 per cent or more.

To make matters worse, over half of those who responded to the poll said that they expected their energy bills to continue rising.

“Government must step in to help struggling businesses, cashflow is already stretched to the limit, to pay what are now exorbitant energy bills by supporting sustainable factories and move further away from National Grid reliance,” the CEO of the organisation, Stephen Phipson, said.

“With an increasing number of manufacturers now in survival mode and taking drastic action such as cutting jobs, emergency action is needed by the new Government as soon as they are inside Number 10,” he reportedly continued.

Make UK has since asked incoming Prime Minister Liz Truss to take “decisive action” with her new government to help aid manufacturing “through a prolonged period of unprecedented hikes in energy bills, rising cost of raw materials and critical labour shortages in order to keep Britain’s place as a leader of innovation on the world stage”.

To this end, the manufacturers’ org is urging Truss’ government to rip up the UK’s Carbon Price Support scheme — a green agenda tax on energy aimed at forcing businesses to reduce their emissions — as well as implement energy price caps for businesses.

If the previous actions of the so-called “Conservative Party” while in government are anything to go by, it appears that there is very little chance of the former of these requests being met, with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson having in the past frequently prioritised his own green agenda goals over fixing the problems facing average Britons.

The former PM even openly urged his successor — whom the vast majority believed would definitely be Liz Truss — to keep pushing his Net Zero ideals, despite the massive hardship to do with energy bills sizable swathes of the public are already in.

Make UK’s latter request to see energy bills capped for businesses however appears far more probably considering the Tory track record, with the nascent Truss government reportedly already considering a plan to freeze energy prices for domestic customers for up to two years.

One economic think-tank has reportedly warned that such a move would be a “terrible idea“, though ultimately may have to be implemented by the British government regardless as a failure to do so could simply result in members of the public outright refusing to pay their energy bills.

“You might hope to come up with something better for next winter but it’s really hard to think of something else you can make work this winter,” a spokesman for the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank reportedly said.

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