The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) has released a recently completed survey regarding various costs for businesses. The survey found Irish business is becoming increasingly uncompetitive as costs rise much faster than inflation.IBEC director Brendan Butler said the survey covered 11 non-pay costs at 230 companies. He said energy was the biggest issue for companies, with costs increasing by 17% last year, way ahead of inflation. Butler said oil prices were a particular problem for manufacturing companies, and 6,000 jobs had been lost in this sector in the first three months of 2006. He called for a substantial increase in support for renewable energy and lessens our dependence on imported energy.