Lib Dems & The NIA Defend Green Taxes

15 October 2013

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has come to the defence of so-called ‘green taxes’, claiming that they are pivotal to keeping fuel bill prices down.

Speaking with The Telegraph newspaper, Clegg explained that Government levies – which make up about 10% of an annual fuel bill – will allow householders to save more money than they cost.

This defence comes after it was reported that Prime Minister David Cameron is considering a U-turn on the Government’s green policies in a bid to ease the “squeeze” on UK householders.

Current levies placed on energy bills pay for future power projects, including offshore wind farms, nuclear power, and other renewable energy sources. They also go towards the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation, the Government’s flagship energy efficiency initiatives.

Under the Green Deal, householders can make energy saving home improvements such as Loft Insulation, Cavity Wall Insulation, and Solid Wall Insulation, without the need for upfront capital. The Government provides the funding which is then paid back via a property’s energy bill.

The Energy Company Obligation provides free Solid Wall Insulation, Cavity Wall Insulation, and Loft Insulation to low-income households receiving specified benefits as well as those found in certain geographical regions at risk of fuel poverty.

Since the schemes launched in January, more than 240,000 measures have been fitted under the Energy Company Obligation alone.

Critics are stating that an overnight cessation of these levies would save bill payers an average of £110 per year. With news that fuel bills are on the rise again, this is being seen by some as a potential lifeline to those unable to make ends meet.

These figures have been cast into doubt by Clegg, as well as the National Insulation Association (NIA).

According to the Energy Saving Trust, £320 can be saved annually by installing Cavity Wall Insulation and Loft Insulation, while £490 can be saved each year by installing Solid Wall Insulation. These figures are based on an average, three-bedroom, semi-detached property.

The NIA was quick to point out: “It is important that rather than simply talking about the costs of green schemes, the public are made aware of the savings and benefits they provide."

Mr Clegg told The Telegraph: “People’s bills go down over time by making sure that their homes are more properly insulated and that fuel poverty is properly tackled.

“Of course we need to keep everything under review – I don’t want to see a penny more going onto bills than is strictly justified.”

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