Household energy bills on the rise and up due to gas not green policies

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

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 Committee on Climate Change has mid-December 2011 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 Committee 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."

The claim that green energy policies are supposedly driving up prices has never made sense to me, I must admit, and always looked to me as what they have now proven, it would appear, to be; namely an excuse by the “normal” energy producer and scaremongering.

We also cannot afford not to go down the green, the renewable, energy route as we are – despite industry's claim to the contrary at times – running out of fossil fuels bar, maybe, coal. There still may be quite a lot of that latter stuff about but that is neither here nor there.

Without a complete and total switch to renewables, and for the electricity part of that we need to rethink the voltage and current that we use – we will not have any electric lights anymore and we will be back to the ways of the early 18th century.

The fact is that in many ways we will have to go back to ways of the 18th and early 19th century as far as much of production and farming and other trades will be concerned for, once cheap and abundant oil (and gas) is no longer available today's manufacturing process will no longer be feasible either.

But it is either renewables or else disaster on many levels...

© 2012