Analysis: Cutting the ‘green crap’ has added £2.5bn to UK energy bills

(20 Jan 2022) Energy bills in the UK are nearly £2.5bn higher than they would have been if climate policies had not been scrapped over the past decade, Carbon Brief analysis shows.

The changes included gutting energy-efficiency subsidies, effectively banning onshore wind in England and scrapping the zero-carbon homes standard. They were introduced after a November 2013 Sun frontpage reported that then-prime minister David Cameron’s answer to rising energy bills was to “get rid of the green crap”, meaning to cut climate policies.

With UK energy bills set to rise by around 50% from current levels in April, the government is once again scrambling to find ways to mitigate the impact on struggling households.

Ideas being briefed to the press include further cuts to energy efficiency policies, cutting VAT on energy bills, getting rid of renewable subsidies or government payments to energy suppliers.

Carbon Brief’s analysis shows that previous efforts to slash climate policies are now costing the average household around £40 per year, rising to £60 under the price cap expected next winter.

Instead, separate Carbon Brief analysis shows that nearly 90% of the increase in bills over the last year is due to the rising price of gas, which has more than tripled over the same period.

Most of the remaining expected increase in bills is due to the cost of energy suppliers going out of business, whereas climate policy costs have already fallen and are due to drop further.

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, 20 Jan 2022: Analysis: Cutting the ‘green crap’ has added £2.5bn to UK energy bills