Research by specialist tax relief consultancy Catax shows that business investment in the utilities sector has fallen by more than 9 percent in a year due to the impacts of COVID-19, although renewables has accounted for almost half the generated power.
Total business investment in the sector fell to £3.9 billion in the first quarter of 2020, down from £4.3 billion for the same period in 2019, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
“The utilities sector has coped admirably with the coronavirus pandemic, maintaining vital energy and water supplies to customers despite numerous challenges” said Mark Tighe, CEO of tax relief consultancy Catax. “However, business investment has tumbled against a backdrop of concern over the ability of customers to pay their bills and future rises in bad debts. In addition, the energy regulator Ofgem is expected to reduce the price cap on tariffs in the coming months as it tries to help consumers, making the industry an even less appealing prospect. However, the energy sector has seen the future during lockdown, with renewable electricity making up almost half of the power used in the UK in recent months. Investment in research and development of renewable technology will pay dividends both financially and in reducing global warming.”