Industry calls for green tax honesty


MPs and pressure groups have said that the Government should be honest with the public about the cost of green levies. Alex Blackburne reports.

There have been calls for greater publishing of green tax levies, leading to better knowledge about which renewable energy sectors are most cost-efficient in UK homes.

According to the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets’ (Ofgem) Electricity and Gas Supply Market Report for October 2011, the average UK household’s annual gas and electricity bill comes to £1,335, with green levies making up just 6% (£80) of the total.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance and author of a new book on climate policy, Let Them Eat Carbon, said, “The public deserve to know just how much they are paying for draconian climate regulations.  

Greater transparency would be a welcome step to a more honest and informed debate over emissions trading, subsidies for renewable energy and other attempts to cut emissions that require hundreds of billions of pounds of investment in the energy sector this decade.  

Sinclair added that the Government would have to be completely honest with the releasing of published levies.

Any estimates printed on people’s bills would need to be complete, though, [including] all of the costs created by the key environmental targets, and be updated as the cost rises each year.  

We can’t just have the fantasy-land figures dreamed up by the Department of Energy and Climate Change included with the bills that land on people’s doormats.”

Sinclair’s words come after Conservative MP, and chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, Tim Yeo, said that the “danger is that the levies are now hidden.”  

The cost of the levies should be published on a regular basis,” Yeo told the Guardian.

We need to be honest with the public that we need to keep the lights on and in a low carbon way, and the consequence of that is higher bills. Then there can be a rational debate over which renewables are most cost-effective.”

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