Green energy taxes are expected to more than double by 2020 new Government reports have shown. At current each individual household pays an average of £68 towards supporting governmental renewable energy programmes such as wind farms, biomass plants and solar panels.
In the next five years the current tax of £68 is set to increase by around £70 a year, a significant amount of money for many households. The government contends that this tax will leave energy consumers financially better off, suggesting that contributing to government schemes will reduce lost energy in households, helping to decrease the cost of energy bills over the long term.
They have predicted that by investing in renewable energy, households will see a fall in their electricity usage by 14% and a reduction in gas use by 5%, offering a reduction in bills by around £50-£90. However these savings will differ greatly between households (dependent on size and individual energy usage) and only those already with energy efficient electronics (including televisions and dishwashers) would experience the higher end of these savings. In fact many households will actually find themselves out of pocket if their energy savings do not equate to more than the increase in green tax, something which has caused opposition to the taxes.
Energy Secretary Ed Davies has repeatedly insisted that the green tariffs will save all bill payers money in the long run, but it stands hard to argue that some households will also lose out financially as a result of this increase. Alarm bells have already started ringing that the green taxes might not be as efficient in saving energy as was once hoped- as the most recent expectations of a £50-£90 saving is considerably lower than the £166 saving Ed Davies originally promised seven months ago.
Renewable energy is a genuine contender to supply the UK energy mix, but it is often overlooked by the government as a sincere contributor to our power. Whilst it is good that the government is starting to show more consideration towards renewable energy, it is questionable as to whether these ‘green taxes’ are fair and justified, especially when one considers that no similar tariff exists regarding the oil and gas industry (which receives much more government support).
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