Affordable, continuous and secure energy is vital to UK glass manufacturing’s international competitiveness. That’s why British Glass represents the interests of glass manufacturing and its supply chain to policy makers in energy security, regulation and taxation at both UK and EU level.
From smart glazing to 100% recyclable packaging – glass products improve energy efficiency in everyday life. But initial melting of glass is an energy-intensive, 24/7 operation. In fact, energy represents approximately one third of the operating costs of large scale glass making. That means predictable energy supply and pricing is essential to glass manufacturing, and around 6,000 UK jobs.
British Glass’ unique relationship with the UK’s large-scale glass manufacturers means that we’re able to collect direct data on how much energy is being used across the sector. This lets us make detailed assessments of the impact of proposed changes to energy markets and regulation.
We use this evidence base, and our close links with other industry sectors and government, to shape effective policy solutions that will ensure UK glass manufacturing remains internationally competitive, and plays its part in developing the energy landscape and infrastructure of tomorrow. Currently that includes:
- Demand side response – as a sector we’re actively exploring practicable opportunities to temporarily reduce electricity use, helping the grid smooth out peaks and troughs in supply so the country can make best use of renewable energy sources.
- Supply diversification – current glass melting depends on gas-fired furnaces. Ensuring the UK has secure and reliable access to gas is vital to our industry.
- Cost – we examine mechanisms such as Contracts for Difference (CfD), Renewables Obligations/Feed in Tarifs (ROFiT) and the Climate Change Levy (CCL) to ensure the direct costs to our industry are proportionate, and not jeopardising UK manufacturing revenue, jobs or investment in energy efficiency.
The Environment and Energy Committee is the focal point of British Glass energy policy work with its members.