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The balance of power

How can UK manufacturers control energy costs and remain competitive?


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Energy, and specifically the cost of energy, has become a very big deal for UK manufacturers. The cost of energy and imported materials has pushed manufacturer input prices up by almost 50% since January 2005. Worryingly, the prices manufacturers are paying for inputs and raw materials have outpaced the rise in output prices by a factor of three.

In such a competitive market and faced with slowing demand, the scope for manufacturers to raise output prices is limited. Instead, manufacturers will need to rely on other measures to reduce the burden of higher energy costs and ensure a reliable supply of energy. Living in a high cost world will require changes to existing production processes, upfront investment in energy efficient devices and an ability to respond quickly to change.

With careful planning along with modest upfront investment, it is possible for manufacturers to insulate themselves from high energy costs and safeguard margins. A range of options are available from changes in the way energy is purchased and managed to investments in energy saving equipment, simple operational improvements and more complex processing innovations.

The rewards for responsible and proactive energy management are high. Manufacturers who successfully reduce their energy consumption by running a more sustainable business will have lower costs, better margins and be in a stronger competitive position.

For more information, download The balance of power - How can UK manufacturers control energy costs and remain competitive? (PDF, 459KB).

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