Report says government has been reckless and wasteful with decarbonisation focus
A report published today accuses the UK government of making “ill-thought through energy and climate policies”.
It says that from 2009 to 2014 the government ignored consumer affordability because of a preoccupation with decarbonisation measures – which account for a percentage of every energy bill.
And the study claims Britain’s energy policies have been the sole cause of average household energy bills in the UK rising by £120 ($187) over the past five years.
The report, The Customer is Always Right, is published by think tank Policy Exchange and it argues that the government is as much to blame as energy companies “for not doing more to lower bills”.
It accuses policymakers of failing to strike the right balance between energy affordability and decarbonising the economy and adds that “reducing energy bills must also be at the forefront of every single future policy decision taken by the government”.
The research found that the average dual fuel energy bill increased between 2009 and 2014 by £240 per household to £1340 a year and half of the increase in bills was due to factors controlled by government rather than energy companies.
Government energy and climate policies in the form of carbon taxes, subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency grants now make up 7 per cent of the average bill and network costs account for a further 22 per cent. The report states that policy costs increased by more than 200 per cent between 2009 and 2014 and forecasts that domestic electricity prices could increase by a further 18 per cent between now and 2020 due to more increases in these policy costs.
The report recommends that the government should “avoid setting distorting technology or sector specific targets; scrap the 2020 Renewable Energy Target and resist calls for a 2030 power sector decarbonisation target; and focus decarbonisation efforts on mature, low cost generation technologies which have the potential to require zero subsidies by around 2020.
The report’s author Richard Howard said: “Government should take its decarbonisation commitments extremely seriously but must also recognise that what consumers really want is affordable energy. That is why we are proposing that there should be stronger consumer oversight over policy decisions, and that government should look at ways to meet energy and climate objectives at lower cost to consumers.”