Household energy bills are lower today than they were when the UK began serious efforts to tackle climate change in 2008, according to new analysis. Climate policy has helped cut bills by reducing demand, says the analysis from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). At the same time CO2 emissions are down 28% since the Climate Change Act was passed and coal has all but swapped places with renewables in the UK electricity mix.
Carbon Brief 16th March 2017 read more »
The government’s climate change advisers have rejected claims that green measures are to blame for higher energy bills for British businesses, saying other European countries have found ways to keep costs down. Over the past eight years measures to combat global warming have cut carbon emissions without raising average electricity bills for UK households. But for reasons that baffle the official climate change watchdog, businesses are paying as much as 30 per cent more for their electricity than those in countries such as France, even though they have similar low-carbon policies. Higher network transmission costs and wholesale power prices chiefly explained the larger bills for UK businesses, the committee found. But the precise reasons such costs were bigger were unclear and needed further study. “We need the government to see that this is really an unacceptable position,” said Lord Deben.
FT 16th March 2017 read more »
Britain’s low carbon energy revolution is actually saving money for households, a report says. Households make a net saving of £11 a month, according to analysis from the Committee on Climate Change. It calculates that subsidies to wind and solar are adding £9 a month to the average bill, but that rules promoting energy efficiency save £20 a month. The finding will be challenged by groups which say the UK spends too much on renewable energy. But the committee, which advises the government, stands by its analysis, and forecasts a continuing trend of downward prices thanks to low carbon policy. The trend is being driven by government and EU standards for gas boilers and household appliances like fridges and light bulbs. These bring down carbon emissions and bills at the same time. It means households don’t need to try especially hard to reduce energy usage – it just happens when they replace their old freezer.
BBC 16th March 2017 read more »
Independent 16th March 2017 read more »
Energy bill payers should be “surprised” by the low cost of policies to tackle global warming, the government’s official climate adviser has said as it forecast that they would cost households £200 a year by 2030. The cost of supporting green energy projects and other low-carbon policies are levied on energy bills and already a typical household pays £105 a year, or about 9 per cent on an annual bill. The committee on climate change said that the costs would continue to rise, adding a further £95 to annual household bills by 2030, as Britain built nuclear plants and wind farms and implemented other policies in pursuit of targets to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. For businesses in the commercial sector, low-carbon policies account for 26 per cent of energy costs and this would rise to 34 per cent by 2030, the committee forecast. For manufacturers, low-carbon policies make up 21 per cent of energy costs, which was likely to rise to 30 per cent by 2030, it said.
Times 16th March 2017 read more »
The cost of supporting new windfarms and nuclear power stations to meet the UK’s carbon targets will add nearly £100 to the average household energy bill by the end of the next decade, according to a government adviser. But the Committee on Climate Change said it expected the increase to be more than offset by savings as people switched to more efficient fridge freezers, LED bulbs and better boilers. The committee, a body of experts set up under the Climate Change Act to advise the government, found that a rise of £105, or 9%, to the average £1,160 dual fuel bill in 2016 was down to green policies. These included subsidies for windfarms and solar power through schemes such as the Renewables Obligation. A report by the committee predicts that meeting the UK’s carbon targets would see the cost of the subsidies rise to £200 of an average bill of £1,350 by 2030. However, other factors were involved in the net increase. The committee also calculated that rising wholesale energy costs and other issues will add more than £200 a year to bills, while an ongoing switch to more energy-efficient appliances and gadgets is expected to save £150. Bell said that future progress on more energy-efficient appliances was slowing slightly, but there was still potential for huge savings. “We’re still seeing only 1% of lighting being LEDs. And what we’ve not factored in at all is what IT will do for how we manage energy in our homes.” Rebecca Williams, energy specialist at WWF, said : “This report shows that energy companies are wrong to blame the increase in energy bills solely on UK government policies. It is clear that the main driver here is rising fossil fuel costs.”
Guardian 16th March 2017 read more »