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Keeping the lights on – How the UK energy sector coped during the pandemic

The UK energy sector plays a pivotal role in the global mission to become net zero. We have one of the world’s most innovative systems which underpins the country’s economy supporting almost 750,000 jobs. £13 billion was invested by the sector in 2019 and £95 billion was generated in economic activity through supply chain1.

According to HMRC statistics, during 2018/19 – the most recent year for which data is available – the energy industry contributed over £7.8bn total in taxes, including £2.4bn in national insurance contributions and £1bn in corporate taxes2.

Crucial role of the energy sector in protecting workers safety by keeping the lights on

When Covid-19 hit and many grew more and more concerned about job security, energy suppliers were one of the first people turned to in seek of support through uncertain times.  It was crucial to guarantee that the nation’s supply was secure, to keep the lights on and protect workers’ safety. The sector acted fast, working closely with the Government to provide millions of pounds’ worth of payment holidays and offer lifelines, such as increased emergency credit levels and pre-loaded top up cards by post. In a vote of recognition, those employed within the sector were quickly recognised as key workers and offered priority testing.

The UK energy sector will play a major role in boosting economic recovery

Looking to the future, the sector will play a major role in boosting economic recovery and there is huge opportunity for employment. Organisations must look to create long term, sustainable jobs, ensuring that these jobs create prosperity across all regions of the UK – leading us towards a fairer economy and society. In doing so, the Government can use the devastating experience of COVID-19 as a catalyst for positive change.

In a campaign backed by PwC entitled Build Back Better3, the three major priorities for recovery are listed. For businesses and households, it is vital that the sector continues to:

  1. Operate a consistent, reliable and resilient service, so businesses can plan with certainty and customer service continues to improve
  2. Offer the lowest prices possible to ensure fairness for consumers and competitiveness for businesses in a global market
  3. Decarbonise, as reducing carbon emissions in energy decreases the carbon footprint of every home and business in the UK.

Energy industry workforce to treble by 2030

On job growth, the latest report from the Local Government Association estimates that the industry’s workforce will have to roughly treble by 2030. Without quality talent driving the sector, these objectives cannot be met.

At ACHIEVA, we’re proud to support energy and resources companies globally, as they rise to the challenge of not only aiding the country’s post-pandemic recovery but reaching decarbonisation.

For more information, contact our sector specialists on hsec@achieva.co.uk

1 https://www.energy-uk.org.uk/publication.html?task=file.download&id=7655

2 Energy UK analysis of HRMC data, corporate taxes (FY 2017/18), all figures are in 2019 prices

3 https://www.energy-uk.org.uk/publication.html?task=file.download&id=7561

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