Energy boss warns Brexit vote could see “lights go out”

By We Love Creative

26 Apr 2016

The boss of a fast-growing North West energy business has warned that “the lights could go out” if the UK votes to leave the EU.

Frazer Durris, managing director of Lancashire-based energy procurement specialist Businesswise Solutions, believes an exit could have very real consequences on the security of supply.

UK voters take part in the EU referendum on 23 June and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has joined several leading economists in warning about the impact an exit vote could have on the country.

Frazer said: “I don’t wish to be alarmist, but the UK is increasingly dependent on the EU for its energy supplies, with natural gas being piped in from Holland and Belgium, electricity being delivered via interconnections from France, Ireland and Holland and the reliance is on the French Government owned EDF to deliver the Hinkley point C nuclear power station.

“All these arrangements have been negotiated with the UK as a member of the EU.

“There exists a real threat, which has been articulated by industry bodies such as the Energy Managers Association, that the winter of 2016/17 could see electricity supply shortages.”

“There’s going to be a lot more uncertainty if there’s an exit from the EU, and with a lack of clarity when it comes to the government’s energy policy, Brexit adds another unknown variable to the equation.”

“If leaving the EU were to adversely affect energy supplies or the price of energy, then it begs the question as to how would we bridge the gap?

“Burning more fossil fuels would jeopardise our carbon reduction targets, nuclear is expensive both in capital expenditure and in the cost of generation, and the government is currently hell bent on reducing its support for renewables.”

“Businesses don’t like uncertainty and in the short term there are more downside risks to prices and supply security if we vote for an exit.

“There’s a further, unrelated risk that if the oil nations agree a deal to cap the amount that they produce, then there could be a price spike in the coming year.”

Businesswise Solutions looks after clients in both public and private sector with energy spends up to £10m per annum. The energy procurement specialist was launched in 2010 and has seen a big surge in demand as a result of its market leading procurement strategies, superior customer service and a major investment in a new online utilities portal called UTILITYi, which provides customers with timely information on their energy usage.

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