How much could your business save?Find out now!
Or, you can call us on:0800 411 8830

Fracking moves forward with centralised decision making

The Government will have new powers to rule on shale gas permits. Plans for shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources in the northwest may now move forward despite local planning decisions.

The business gas boom driven by shale gas (also known as fracking) – most notably in the US – has yet to take off in the UK despite indications of significant shale gas reserves in some areas.

Despite the Government’s preference for speedy exploitation of shale gas, local opposition has been fierce, likely a factor in local councils’ decision to deny planning permission for exploration, most recently in Lancashire.

Why shale gas?

Output from the ageing North Sea oil and gas is dwindling, leaving a potential shortfall in business energy that needs to be made up. Subsidies for renewable energy are steadily being removed – due in part to a Tory distaste for on-shore wind turbines – so the substitute of choice has become shale gas (see our guide to fracking).

As the process to provide planning permission for exploration at two sites in Lancashire dragged on and then ended in denial, Government frustration was palpable.

Cuadrilla, the company looking to exploit shale gas in Lancashire, has appealed and will argue again for shale exploration at a three-week public inquiry beginning in February. But most significant is the announcement that the central Government, in the form of Local Government Minister Greg Clark, will determine Cuadrilla’s appeal.

Impact on business gas

The decision to essentially remove Lancashire County Council from the process could have wide ramifications. The perceptions of going against local opinion could work against the Government’s oft-stated goal of devolution of decisions, especially in a region. But the time needed to move to the business of gas extraction could be significantly shortened.

How would this impact business gas prices?

Widespread fracking could offer a decent supply of business gas. But the benefits would likely lie more in security of supply than in better business gas rates – fracking elsewhere in world (notably the US) is already well established and less bound by strict regulation. And ‘traditional’ gas suppliers, such as Qatar and Russia, can supply business gas at a price that is likely to be below the cost of UK sourced shale gas, especially since the recent ‘gas glut’.

Those expecting a noticeable reduction in price may be sorely disappointed, both by the long wait for the gas business to actually arrive and the modest scale of price falls.

Expert advice is almost invaluable in navigating this confusing situation. All customers are always contacted ahead of their renewal date to ensure they have the option to switch to the cheapest energy supplier.

Our sector leading business energy switch service (we are the highest rated business energy provider on independent ratings site TrustPilot) brings average business energy savings of 26% in only 20 minutes. Give us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form) now to start saving.

Our dedicated page has lots more information about business gas and business electricity.


Related Articles

the week's top energy news

The Week’s Top Energy News

Top News In Energy This Week This week we’ve seen a flurry of green energy stories – including gr...

Read More

Very Clever Commuting Hacks

It’s easy to focus on the downsides of a long commute. The average UK commuter spends 58 minutes every ...

Read More
will innovative jam boost the economy

Will ‘innovative jam’ boost the UK economy?

It’s the economic equivalent of Union Jack bunting. Today, in a move surely masterminded by the Great Briti...

Read More
Excellent, 9.4 / 10

Competent and courteous service.

"Marie was knowledgeable and helpful. I feel able to recommend the service given without reservation. David Slesenger"

This review was posted by David Slesenger on the 16th of August 2016

Good service

"Nadia was very helpful"

This review was posted by Robin on the 16th of August 2016

Excellent Customer Service *****

"Jonathan Burgess is an asset to Switch My Business. He made me feel at ease and was more than helpful at all times. He made regular contact and guided me through the whole process which made switching a breeze. I just wish there were more customer service advisers like Jonathon whose friendly and happy demeanour make your day a much nicer one. Well done Switch my business and more importantly thank you Jonathon for all your hard work! Maria Owen Lodgecrest"

This review was posted by Maria Owen on the 17th of August 2016


"I totally agree with a customer maria owen,Jonathan Burgess was such a pleasure dealing with and is truly a asset to the company, he made it very easy to switch my electricity companies, Jonathan Burgess was very helpful, easy to talk to it was like talking to a friend not just a customer adviser. I would definitely recommend switchmybusiness and try get hold off Jonathan Burgess if possible and have the same excellent service as I did. Rajan Shanan"

This review was posted by Rajan Shanan on the 19th of August 2016

Excellent and very helpful

"Arron who dealt with my switch of energy and gas has been a huge help and extremely efficienct and easy to deal with. Despite British Gas throwing obstacles in the way at every turn he has doggedly stuck to his task and saved the day. Thanks Arron."

This review was posted by Rod Pryce-Jones on the 19th of August 2016