Eon calls for green energy levies to be axed to ease pressure on UK bills. Environmental schemes should be funded through general taxation, electricity group argues.
FT 16th Sept 2021 read more »
Blog by Jan Rosenow and Richard Lowes of the Regulatory Assistance Project: Every year households in the UK install about 1.7 million gas boilers. In May, the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council reported that 2021 looks to be a record year for gas boiler sales, with year to date sales up 41 per cent from 2020. So far, low carbon heating occupies a small – although growing – niche in the heating market. One important factor supporting a booming boiler market is quite simple: gas is cheap and electricity is expensive. Residential electricity prices per kilowatt hour are currently around five times higher than gas prices. This means that switching to a heat pump, even with an efficiency of 300 per cent, does not offer bill savings for customers on a standard tariff. This is partly a political choice. Legacy policy costs drive part of the difference in price. Most of levy-funded energy and climate policies, which make up 23 per cent of the total household bill, are presently paid for through electricity bills. In the UK, these legacy costs include charges for policies such as feed-in tariffs, the Energy Company Obligation, Contracts for Difference, the Renewables Obligation and the Warm Home Discount. Electricity is also effectively covered by a carbon tax, the carbon price floor. By contrast, gas carries a mere two per cent of environmental and social levies, and is not subject to a carbon price. Research by Oxford University shows that the current levy structure provides an active disincentive to adopt heat pumps, which is clearly at odds with the UK government’s goal of mass deployment by 2028. In the past, when electricity was much more carbon intensive, such an approach could have possibly been justified. But electricity has now become cleaner than gas and is projected to emit only only half of the greenhouse gases resulting from heating with fossil fuels by the mid‑2020s. A much needed rethink of levy costs could provide energy users with incentives that complement the need to fully decarbonise heating.
Green Alliance 16th Sept 2021 read more »
Scientists ‘concerned’ over government plans for hydrogen home heating. Letter to prime minister says government should take a cautious approach to fossil-fuel based ‘blue hydrogen’. They said that ‘priority needs to be shifting away from fossil fuels towards efficient electricity-based heating and transport systems’
Independent 17th Sept 2021 read more »
The new international trade secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has been accused of rejecting the science behind the climate emergency after a series of tweets came to light showing her dismissing those who believe in global heating as “fanatics”.
Guardian 16th Sept 2021 read more »