Green Taxes On Fuel Bills Nearly Double, Consumer Group Says
Green taxes on energy bills have nearly doubled in two years to almost £100 as companies pass on the costs of becoming environmentally-friendly to households. Some industry insiders believe that bills could increase by between 50 per cent and 100 per cent by 2020.
According to Energyhelpline.com, the website, green taxes make up £91.50 of a typical annual dual fuel bill of £1,310. This compares to £56.50 in February 2010.
The website, which based the figures on statistics from Ofgem, said that the total extra cost to UK households of green taxes and rising fuel prices is over £2 billion a year.
Energy companies are obliged by the Government to pay certain green levies and taxes. They pass these on to customers through higher bills.
Taxes include the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), which obliges the UK’s big energy firms – such as British Gas and SSE – to become more energy efficient by investing in renewable technologies such as wind turbines.
The Government argues that measures to make the energy industry more environmentally-friendly will reduce bills in the long run.
However Energyhelpline.com warned that bills will continue to rise as these extra charges continue. Some industry insiders believe that bills could increase by between 50 per cent and 100 per cent by 2020.
Mark Todd, a director at Energyhelpline.com, said that the “last thing” hard-pressed consumers need is even higher energy bills.
“Rather than helping to push prices down, we calculate that Government policies are actually pushing bills up by at least £2 billion a year.”
“Government bodies need to think about the effects these new policies will have on consumers. It is likely that increases such as these will push more households over the line into fuel poverty,” said Mr Todd.
As well as hitting consumers, Mr Todd warned that high bills could force some businesses to relocate overseas, where energy is cheaper.
Last week SSE, Britain’s second biggest energy company, announced price rises in fuel bills from October. Experts believe that other companies will follow suit.
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, said that global gas prices are “far and away” the biggest factor driving up energy bills.
“By comparison social and environmental measures represent a small fraction of the bill. Those policies are actually part of the solution, because they’re about helping people insulate their homes and cut energy waste, and developing a more diverse, home-grown mix of energy sources for the UK so we can reduce our huge reliance on expensive imported fossil fuels.
“That’s a long term challenge. In the short term, our advice to customers facing higher energy bills is to shop around for a better deal, check that you are still on the best tariff and if you find you are not, take your business elsewhere,” the spokesman said.