Three-quarters of the population do not believe that green taxes to blame for rising energy bills, despite energy companies linking renewable energy subsidies with recent price hikes, according to a new poll.
The poll, carried out by Survation on behalf of the Mail on Sunday, also found that support for the subsidies outweighs opposition. Forty per cent of respondents said they approve of the use of green taxes to support renewable energy development, while only 29% oppose them, with the rest unsure.
Meanwhile, 38% of respondents said that they thought green taxes were a waste of money, but 45% said they are an important way of protecting the environment.
Despite the findings of their poll, the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail are among the publications blaming the ‘green levies’ for increases in energy bills.
Energy firm SSE last week told its customers that it would be increasing its energy prices by 8.2%, starting from November 15. SSE blamed green policies – such as taxes on carbon dioxide emissions – for the price increase, arguing that these will add £790m per year, £26 per household, to energy bills by 2015. More suppliers are expected to follow suit.
However, in the UK renewable energy subsidies make a much smaller contribution to domestic and commercial energy bills than subsidies for fossil fuels. For every £1 of renewable subsidy, fossil fuels are subsidised £3-4.
Ofgem statistics also show that currently, environmental costs, including the Warm Home Discount, makes up 6% of the average gas bill and 11% of the average electricity bill.
On a typical energy bill of £1,500, environmental taxes – which work to create jobs in the renewable energy economy and reduce our dependence on scarce, environmentally damaging fossil fuels – add around £70.