UK Steel has welcomed the British Government’s plan to exempt specific heavy industries – including steel – from some of the costs associated with its Contracts-for-Difference (CfD) scheme.

Companies that bid for CfDs and are guaranteed a specific price for a set period of time for the low-carbon energy they produce. The scheme is funded by a levy on energy suppliers who in turn pass on the costs to end-users.

“With the introduction of this exemption, we move another step closer to the comprehensive protection from climate change policy costs our sector has long called for. The long term certainty that the exemption provides is a hugely important element in delivering a more competitive business environment for steel makers in the UK, placing them on a more even footing with their EU competitors,” said Gareth Stace, director of UK Steel.

According to Mr Stace, however, more can be done on industrial energy costs. He said that electricity prices for the sector remain ‘stubbornly high’ – in some cases 50% higher than in Germany.

“We look forward to working with the government, through the Industrial Strategy framework, to find further solutions to this persistent problem,” he concluded.