The Government is being urged to mount an "all out attack" on rising industrial energy prices amid fears of a threat to jobs and economic growth.
The EEF manufacturers' organisation warned that firms could be forced to invest overseas unless costs were checked.
In its submission ahead of next month's Budget, the EEF said the cost of energy was the issue firms were most negative about.
A survey of 300 companies showed that half believed tackling energy costs was the biggest factor affecting expansion plans.
The EEF said energy intensive industries like steel and chemicals should be shielded from "excessive" energy policy costs.
Chief executive Terry Scuoler, said: "Rising energy costs represent a major threat to growth and could damage efforts to support and sustain long term recovery. The UK cannot afford to pile even more unilateral costs on the manufacturing sector which is key to developing the UK's longer term growth and stability.
"Many manufacturers now feel that they are being severely penalised by high energy costs, some of which are being unilaterally imposed and, are not shared by competitor nations.
"EEF is also calling on the Chancellor to address other areas in support of UK manufacturing, including measures on skills, funding for business support services and, improving access to funding, especially for smaller companies."
In its Budget submission, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said the Government should review skills policy and allocate more money to the careers service.