A recent report has shown that customers have made savings on their energy bills as a result of government targets for carbon emissions.
According to the report, which was published by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the average UK household has made an £11 saving per month since the move.
Prices for annual energy bills increased by £370 between the years 2004 and 2008 while the costs for fossil fuels were high, but began to drop off after the Climate Change Act was passed in 2008. The figures show that wind and solar power subsidies actually increase monthly bills but this is offset by a £20 savings from legislation that enforces energy efficiency. The latest findings are expected to be scrutinised and challenged heavy by a variety of organisations who claim the UK is overspending on renewable energy.
The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee recently published a report claiming that monthly energy costs had been increased by “poorly designed government interventions in pursuit of decarbonisation”.
The report said that energy security should be at the forefront of government legislation as opposed to low carbon targets. The CCC hit back, saying the analysis is unfair as it wrongly targets clean energy for increased bills between 2004-2008. The CCC maintains that price began to fall from 2008 when the changes were brought into place.
The CCC also said that if the government was to increase levels of low carbon electricity in line with the UK’s emissions targets then households could see an increase of £10 to their monthly bills. They stressed the importance of further promotion around energy efficiency and said further improvements in that area could reduce monthly costs for customers by £12.50 which would result in another net saving. The CCC predicts that by 2030, customers will see additional annual savings of £150 powered mainly by a transition to LED lights and a switch to more efficient boilers. Former Conservative Politician Lord Deben, who is chair of the CCC, said: “Action to deliver a cleaner, more efficient energy system is already delivering benefits for households and businesses.
“UK emissions are falling – down 38 per cent from 1990 to 2015 – while gross domestic product has risen by almost 65 per cent in the same period. Meanwhile, the typical household energy bill has fallen in real terms since 2012.
“The UK’s progress to reduce emissions, and its comparative advantage in important areas such as the automotive sector, offer opportunities for future growth and employment while delivering vital action to tackle climate change.”
Also highlighted in the CCC report was the need for further competition in the energy industry with the committee finding that customers who switched to the cheapest available tariff saved between £200 and £300 per year. They also made recommendations that advice and guidance on how to be more energy efficient should be made more readily available for vulnerable customers.
“If the insulation and low-carbon heat installations required to meet the carbon budgets can be successfully targeted at the fuel poor then around three-quarters can be lifted out of fuel poverty by 2030,” the report said.
“However, meeting the Government’s goal of improving fuel poor homes to efficiency band C by 2030 would require roughly doubling the funding currently provided under the Energy Company Obligation.”
One of the most important areas for increased energy efficiency was said to be insulation, with the government needing to double its current investment in order to do away with fuel poverty. Recent findings by the BBC showed that in order for the government’s targets for energy efficiency to be met, around 25 million homes would would need refurbishments by 2050.