The heaviest energy users are being asked to shape a proposed £250m compensation package designed to help reduce the impact of energy and climate change policies on the cost of their electricity.
The new consultation, which sets out the design of the scheme, follows on from the Government's call for evidence on the issue in March, and guidance on compensation for the indirect costs of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) published in the Official Journal in June.
Energy and climate change policies could add up to 28 per cent to the average electricity prices paid by large intensive energy users by 2020, according to Government estimates.
"Many energy intensive businesses are located in areas that have been hit hard by the economic downturn, which is why it's important that we get this right and present the best support package available," Business Secretary Vince Cable said.
He added that the proposed final scheme for compensation would be announced in the spring, following "detailed consideration" of the responses to the consultation. Any proposed scheme must also be approved by the EU under laws preventing national governments granting anti-competitive 'state aid' to particular companies.