Schneider electric has responded to the latest budget announcement, criticising the government for missing an opportunity to deliver a greener tomorrow.

Previous budgets have included significant green measures that have helped propel the UK towards carbon reduction targets. This year, the government announced it is seeking to make major savings in the administrative cost of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), and will bring forward an alternative environment tax this autumn if such savings cannot be found.

Rodney Turtle, strategic marketing director at the company said: ‘The CRC has only been in existence since April 2010 and it can sometimes take a few years for businesses to really get to grips with new energy legislation and therefore for government to assess its true impact.  To then announce that this scheme may be replaced is likely to confuse businesses and leave them questioning what to do next.  If we are going to make a difference to our energy usage then there needs to be consistency in incentives and schemes.’

The Chancellor also outlined a package of tax changes to boost oil and gas extraction in the North Sea, along with £3bn new field allowance west of Shetland in order to secure future energy supplies for the UK.

Rodney added: ‘The secretary of state was quoted as saying he is ‘hugely enthusiastic about energy efficiency’ and recognised that it’s the cheapest way of cutting carbon and people’s energy bills.  However the budget didn’t quite embrace measures that would accelerate the UK towards a low carbon economy with green jobs and green technologies at its core.

‘While it’s welcome news to see the government is investing in securing the UK’s energy supply, it could also go further in encouraging industry, businesses and homeowners to play a larger part in the UK’s energy management with further investment in renewables.  There needs to be effective national policies that are sustainable in order to continue the decline in emissions, improve our energy security, reduce expenditure on energy and free up budget for spending elsewhere in the economy.’