Climate change advisors dismiss fuel bill fears
Concerns that subsidies to improve energy efficiency will drive up fuel bills are unfounded, according to the panel that advises the government on climate change.
In a report issued today the independent Committee on Climate Change states energy bills in 2020 will be roughly the same as they were in 2010 if the government does more to support energy saving measures such as insulation and more efficient appliances.
Launching the report Lord Adair Turner, chair of the committee, said: ‘If we introduce new policies to stimulate energy efficiency improvement, then bills in 2020 could be broadly contained at current levels.’
Predictions that subsidies for wind farms, solar panels and energy efficiency could drive the typical energy bill to £3,000 a year are unfounded, added CCC’s chief executive David Kennedy.
Last year the typical household spent £1,060 on gas and electricity. In 2020, under the government’s ‘central’ assumptions about the wholesale price of natural gas, prices will be £1,250, the CCC predicts, or £1,085 if extra measures are taken to save energy.
The report only considers the ‘typical’ British household, and does not specify the affect on social housing.
The committee says that policies to reduce carbon will add £110 to energy bills by 2020, with most of the increases near the end of the decade. Only £10 of this will be spent on energy savings, but this investment could reduce gas consumption by 8 per cent and electricity consumption by 19 per cent.
Trebling this to £30 would allow an extra 200,000 fuel poor homes to be insulated.
The committee said the government’s feed-in tariffs payments to encourage the use of photovoltaic panels add under £1 a year to household bills at present, and will make up £7 of the typical bill in 2020.