Low carbon drive ‘cuts household bills’
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|
|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|
|Contracts for difference||0.0||0.1||0.7||1.3||1.9||2.7||3.2|
|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.|