"Energy security is one of the most profound challenges facing the UK, and government energy policies require clarity and consistency to ensure that it meets the challenge," said Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce.
Large numbers of businesses in the UK are increasingly concerned about energy security and broadly supportive of government plans to deliver a "diverse energy mix".
That is the conclusion of a major survey of almost 3,500 firms undertaken by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and released today, ahead of the anticipated release of the government's Energy Bill later this month.
The survey revealed that 90 per cent of businesses believe the UK requires a more "diverse energy mix" that addresses supply security risks.
It also confirmed that 59 per cent of large businesses, 44 per cent of medium-sized businesses, and 38 per cent of small firms are worried about future energy supply security.
"This requires the creation of an energy market that will deliver a diverse energy mix, at reasonable cost to businesses. The UK should not find itself in a situation where it becomes more dependent on fossil fuels from overseas or on one technology at home."
"To create such a market, the government must provide more certainty for investors than it has in the past."
The report echoes recent interventions from the CBI
calling for the creation of a stable energy policy framework that delivers a diverse low carbon energy mix and does not leave the UK overly reliant on natural gas. As such, it is likely to be welcomed by those Lib Dem ministers who are currently pushing the Chancellor to drop his calls for changes to the Energy Bill that would enable a new "dash for gas" and potentially undermine investment in low carbon generation.
The survey also revealed that while 63 per cent of companies are keen to improve their energy efficiency, only 56 per cent have a positive view of the government's energy efficiency programmes while over 60 per cent are unaware of the soon-to-be-launched Green Deal scheme
, despite it technically being available to businesses.