Household energy bills up due to gas not green policies

Energy bills are rising due to the increased cost of gas and not due to green polices, according to the influential Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

The CCC has today (December 15) published its first comprehensive analysis of the impact of meeting carbon budgets on household energy bills.

In the report the committee finds recent bill increases are ‘primarily’ due to increased wholesale gas costs.

It goes on to say until 2020 energy policies to achieve a low-carbon economy will add around £110 to bills with scope to offset this if energy efficiency can be improved.

According to the CCC its findings ‘disprove often repeated claims that recent bill increases are due to environmental policy costs’.

And also refutes claims that major investments in low-carbon power capacity will drive dramatic bill increases over the next decade.

Looking forward, the committee found, bills are projected to increase by around £110 over the next decade to support investment in low-carbon power capacity.

It also found further increases will be required to support grid investment and may also be required depending on gas price movements.

However, there is room for bills to come down, compared with 2010, both because this was a cold year and because much of the UK’s boiler stock will be replaced by modern more efficient ones over the next decade.

Committee on Climate Change chair, Lord Adair Turner, said: “We were keen to provide a dispassionate analysis of household bill impacts in what has become a politically controversial area.

“We found that bills have increased primarily in response to increased wholesale gas costs and not due to environmental policies.

“Over the next decade, we anticipate a rise of around £100 in the average bill as a result of investment in low-carbon power capacity, which will benefit the UK in the long run.

“And if we introduce new polices to stimulate energy efficiency improvement then bills in 2020 could broadly be contained at current levels.”

Green energy producer Good Energy’s founder and chief executive, Juliet Davenport, said: “It’s good to see the committee putting the record straight and these figures clearly show how our continued dependence on fossil fuels is costing us dear.

“They also put to bed many of the myths about the cost of investing in a new generation of infrastructure that harnesses the renewable energy resources with have in the UK.

“That investment will benefit us in the long run, providing security of supply, helping deliver more stable energy prices and slashing our carbon emissions.”

Luke Walsh

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