Talks on energy efficiency deals with major users

Negotiations between the Government and major energy users interested in signing voluntary agreements on energy efficiency in exchange for a lower rate of energy tax got under way in April. Several industries have joined the nine initially invited to the talks - but there are already hints that agreements may be difficult to secure with at least two sectors with large numbers of companies. Meanwhile, talks on a pilot emission trading scheme are advancing more slowly, although the possibility of a linkage with the energy tax regime may lend them renewed impetus.

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