Manufacturers see electricity cost increase

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Manufacturers across the UK saw their electricity costs rise by over 50 per cent year-on-year during the final quarter of 2008, according to new research.

BDO Stoy Hayward's Quarterly Manufacturing Energy Tracker found that electricity costs increased by 51 per cent compared to the fourth quarter in 2007.

Gas prices were also found to have increased by 21 per cent year-on-year for the same period.

The price of electricity did reduce by 27 per cent compared to the high cost point during the third quarter of 2008, but gas prices dropped by only one per cent from the previous quarter.

Head of manufacturing at BDO Stoy Hayward, Tom Lawton, said: "Although the trend of these important costs has made a welcome shift downwards in the last quarter the scale of the increases on an annual basis will have undoubtedly caused major problems to many manufacturers in what is a very difficult economy."

A recent survey by YouGov, commissioned by Opus Energy, found that only three per cent of small businesses in the UK highlighted energy bills as an area for cutbacks in 2009.

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