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Low carbon drive ‘cuts household bills’

March 16, 2017

By Paul Homewood




Fake news from the BBC:


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 specially hard to reduce energy usage – it just happens when they replace their old freezer.

Let’s be totally clear about this – the Committee on Climate Change is not an independent or objective body, It was set up to push forward the government’s climate change agenda, and cannot be relied upon to give impartial advice.


The debate about energy savings v increased prices is not a new one. It is also spurious for several reasons:


1) Improving energy efficiency of products has always been an ongoing process, with or without government intervention.

Think, for instance, of cars. Twenty years ago, we would have been lucky to get 30 mpg, whereas now we expect twice as much. This technological progress did not happen because governments decreed it, but because of free market competition.

It is the same with electronic devices such as TVs.

For the government to offset these savings against the cost of its own policies is dishonest.


2) Energy savings and the cost of renewable subsidies are two separate issues. In other words, they are not interdependent. You can have one without the other.

Going back to the example of cars, suppose the government doubled fuel duty, arguing that drivers would not be any worse off because of greater fuel efficiency. Guess what the reaction would be!

You might just as well argue that a food tax is justified because government policies are encouraging us all to eat less.


3) Many of the energy savings mentioned come at a cost.

Low energy light bulbs, for instance, cost much more then the conventional ones. The same applies with many other products, not to mention insulation schemes and tougher building regulations.

None of these extra costs appear in the CCC analysis.


The facts could not be clearer. As the OBR tell us every year, the cost of subsidising inefficient renewable energy will be costing us all £13bn a year by 2021.

The government has a simple choice. It can either abolish the Climate Change Act, or let the country be £13bn worse off.




2.7 Environmental levies

£ billion

Outturn Forecast

2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Carbon reduction commitment 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.0
Warm home discount1 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4
Feed-in tariffs1 0.0 1.3 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.6
Renewables obligation 3.9 4.6 5.4 6.3 6.6 6.8 7.0
Contracts for difference 0.0 0.1 0.7 1.3 1.9 2.7 3.2
Capacity market 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.7 1.0 1.3 1.4
Environmental levies 4.6 6.9 8.7 10.7 11.9 12.6 13.5
Memo: Expenditure on renewable heat incentive (RHI) 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2
Note: The ‘Environmental levies’ line above is consistent with the ‘Environmental levies’ line in Table 4.6 of the March 2017 Economic and fiscal outlook.
1 The ONS have yet to include Warm Home Discount and Feed-in Tariffs in their outturn numbers. If they were included, they would have been £0.3bn and £1.1bn respectively.

  1. AlecM permalink
    March 16, 2017 12:52 pm

    That’s right BBC, leave the low carbon PR to the lunatics…….

  2. March 16, 2017 12:52 pm

    Huh, they are predicting falling prices, just when all companies have announced around 10% rises. Proof, if still needed, that the BBC acts as the broadcast dept of the Green party.

    • Sheri permalink
      March 16, 2017 1:24 pm

      How can you get falling prices when, at least in the US, price increases are written into every year of the 20 year contract utilities sign when purchasing renewable energy?

    • March 16, 2017 8:42 pm

      They aren’t saying prices will fall, they’re saying bills will fall due to lower usage.

    • March 16, 2017 9:19 pm

      10%? and the rest. SSE have just invited me to pay them 19% more from 27 April. (Was 16.63p/kWh; new 19.79p/kWh). I declined.

  3. NeilC permalink
    March 16, 2017 12:56 pm

    Of course the whole of the CCC are either troughers or funded by Grantham or both, what do you expect from them apart from distortion and lies. Followed by the BBC propaganda.

    “The government has a simple choice. It can either abolish the Climate Change Act, or let the country be £13bn worse off”.

    Absolutely, get rid of the CCA.

    I wonder if they are even slightly aware there has been no statistically significant change in temperature for the last 18 years in the UK despite there being more CO2 in the atmosphere. Promoting unreliable green energy is a scandal.

  4. rwoollaston permalink
    March 16, 2017 1:00 pm

    Yes, it’s more political drivel claiming success within a limited and misleading frame of reference. As you point out, the green subsidy tax burden has risen and is continuing to rise significantly. Also they don’t mention that:

    – generating electricity from burning biomass releases more CO2 than that from burning coal;
    – solar panels installed in this country can never generate more energy than that used in their production;

    Rather like the misleading report on Drax authored (disappointingly) by Ricardo, they choose to look at only that which suits the political green agenda.

  5. William Baird permalink
    March 16, 2017 1:26 pm

    As we see regularly the BBC is a propaganda service to the green left.

    Harrabin seems allowed to tell what green lies he sees fit, and nobody at the Beeb stands up for honesty and facts.

    I increasingly find myself looking elewhere for my news, with an English speaking French channel and even Aljedsera (?) more rliebale.

    De-fund the BBC and lets make a saving on licences (which the Commity can take credit for)

    • Paddy permalink
      March 17, 2017 7:20 am

      When I type Harrabin on my computer, the spellchecker changes it to Warfarin – and they say computers can’t think!

  6. Sheri permalink
    March 16, 2017 1:26 pm

    My sympathies to those in England as your government slowly destroys your society. In the US, we are hoping there’s still time to avoid said fate.

    TV’s use more energy in the US, especially big screen TV’s. Unless you shut them off with a power strip when not in use. That, of course, converts your DVR a large paperweight. What’s missing recording the game if you can save the planet, right?

    For some reason, no one remembers that “energy efficient” appliance took a lot of resources to build, costs hundreds of dollars and when used to replace your perfectly good current appliance, adds to landfills or requires energy to recycle. An appliance that saves $200 in energy costs over the life of the appliance and costs $1500 up front is not going to work mathematically to save money and the low income (or people like myself that think $1500 for say, a washer, is highway robbery) won’t be able to afford the new appliance.

    Realistically, you never save a tremendous amount of energy upgrading light bulbs (virtually none there) or appliances. It’s feel-good fantasy people are feed by the purveyors of climate worship. It does nothing to save the planet.

    I wonder what part of the brain is removed so people can sit in front of a camera and lie day after day after day and feel no guilt whatsoever……

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      March 16, 2017 1:33 pm

      Replacing a few of our lightbulbs with LEDs has saved me 25% of my electricity bill for the last 3 years, at fantastic payback. I only replaced those that are regularly left on over the winter months, but would recommend this to anyone.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        March 16, 2017 1:43 pm

        I could never conceive of a saving like that unless I left lots of lights on in the first place. Turning them off is the best saving.

  7. Jack Broughton permalink
    March 16, 2017 1:29 pm

    Isn’t it amazing that table 2.7 is not being blasted out by the meja! Well it should be amazing anyway.

    The OBR figures do not allow far the new power plant that is needed when our coal fired plants are shut-down and the extra fuel cost that will arise as coal is the true low cost power source.

    However, the average household in the UK will be subsidising stupidity by £ 500 / year: tough being a JAM?

  8. Gerry, England permalink
    March 16, 2017 1:47 pm

    Wonderous efficiency savings have always underpinned their false claims that costs won’t go up in the ‘bright’ new renewable future. There does seem to be an enquiry in the offing as to the recent price rises announced by the Big Six with the finger of blame pointing at government introduced costs. They have disputed Ofgem’s figures on this and the preposterous claim that installing ‘Smart’ meters is not a government cost. The ignorance of the MPs could well see the green costs laid out for all to see.

  9. CheshireRed permalink
    March 16, 2017 1:49 pm

    Straightforward misinterpretation of the evidence (aka lying) by the CCC and al Beeb are so convinced by the CCC’s sharp accounting that they’ve had to put ‘cuts household bills’ in quotation marks. Says it all for both the claim itself and the clowns reporting it. Fake news indeed.

  10. March 16, 2017 1:53 pm

    Cardinal Harrabin was on the lunchtime news trying to defend the indefensible. He was actually claiming that our electricity bills are falling. How many people believe that?

    • Jackington permalink
      March 16, 2017 2:18 pm

      Yes, and he says we are all “Quids in” and it’s going to get better in the future. It really is Alice in Wonderland stuff.

  11. John189 permalink
    March 16, 2017 4:40 pm

    BBC article is complete drivel. Yes, we can use less power if gadgets are more efficient, but that does not alter the fact that renewable power is more expensive. We could all save a lot more if we didn’t have to pay for a renewable levy.

  12. Bloke down the pub permalink
    March 16, 2017 5:35 pm

    I was given a jumper for Christmas, so I’ve not had the central heating on all winter. Does that count?

  13. JasG permalink
    March 16, 2017 10:02 pm

    The thing about these new boilers is not just the cost of replacement…’s that they last only about 5 years before needing replaced again. To call this saving money is to be willfully blind, stupid or both.

    • HotScot permalink
      March 17, 2017 9:16 am

      As far as we can gather, our ‘inefficient’ boiler has been going since 1982, and still going strong.

      When we moved into our house in 1991, I added timing controls and replaced the pump. That’s it. The timer is now faulty but I cant get a direct replacement, indeed, it’s looking like I’ll have to replace the whole boiler because the timer components are faulty.

      I’m holding out as long as possible.

      • Peter MacFarlane permalink
        March 17, 2017 11:20 am

        Me too!

        Oil-fired boiler, dead simple, dates from the early nineties. Contains no fancy eletronics, or – as far as I can tell – proprietary components at all. Burner is a standard unit that can be replaced. Controls are basically the on-off switch and one thermostat which is nothing special.

        As long as it doesn’t rust through (careful attention to Fernox levels required!) it should see me out.

        (And before anyone mentions it – there’s no gas for miles…thank goodness.)

  14. Dingwall permalink
    March 17, 2017 7:41 am

    I think the BBC should challenge some of these obviously misleading statements, my electricity bill has just increased by over 11percent?

  15. Coeur de Lion permalink
    March 17, 2017 11:47 am

    I’ e

  16. Coeur de Lion permalink
    March 17, 2017 11:50 am

    Oops fat finger
    I’ve just had my electricity bill hiked by £100 pa and am furious

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