Committee on Climate Change injects a ‘note of sanity’ into energy debate

Published on Friday, 16 December 2011 11:18
Posted by Scott Buckler

WWF have said that the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) had injected a ‘note of sanity’ into the debate around household energy bills

WWF hailed the analysis from the CCC which showed that UK energy bills have increased primarily in response to increases in the wholesale gas price and not environmental policies.

The Committee’s figures show that a massive 64% of the bill increases were driven by gas price rises compared to a meagre 7% of the rise which was driven by support for low carbon generation.

Nick Molho, head of energy policy at WWF-UK said: “It’s great that the CCC has injected a note of sanity into the fevered debate around household energy bills and confirmed what everyone knew – the cost of fossil fuels are forcing up energy bills.

“In reality though, there was never a debate here - it was a mirage. Those opposed to renewables have simply pushed a myth – that the cost of ‘green policies’ and support for renewables was driving up energy bills. This deliberate attempt to pervert the debate and mislead consumers has also damaged confidence in an industry that can provide a major boost to UK investment and economic growth.

“It is the UK power sector’s heavy reliance on gas and other fossil fuels – not renewable energy - which has overwhelmingly driven recent price hikes. The reality is that renewables offer us the best chance to diversify our energy sources away from our excessive over-reliance on gas and to create a substantial renewable energy industry here in the UK.”

WWF also said that the Committee was right to highlight the importance of energy efficiency in limiting future energy costs for consumers. Whilst WWF welcomes the government’s Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation, both aimed at saving money on bills through helping consumers to make their homes more energy efficient, it is clear that a step change is needed in ambition on energy efficiency including policies to help reduce electricity consumption as well as gas consumption.

Nick Molho said: “We need a coherent energy policy that places the same amount of importance on reducing our demand for energy as it does on supporting low-carbon power. Energy efficiency is clearly key to achieving a long-term, sustainable reduction in our energy bills. We urge the Government to ensure that proposals for the forthcoming Energy Bill include policies to drive more efficient use of electricity.”


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