Responding to the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) Impact Assessment, Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus, said:
‘All serious projections show that our energy bills are likely to keep rising. Consumers have had to weather any number of energy price storms over recent years, and although the ‘cushion’ effect set out by DECC is welcome, consumers need something more substantial to soften the impact of continually rising energy prices.
Government policies will provide consumers with a level of protection compared with a ‘do-nothing approach’, however consumers are looking for a ‘do more strategy’.
It is almost universally acknowledged that the best strategy to reduce energy costs is to create more energy efficient homes. Consumer Focus has argued that Government should use the billions they will raise in carbon taxes to deliver a more ambitious programme to insulate our homes to higher standards, saving the poorest in society money on their bills, cutting carbon emissions and creating economic growth quickly and across the country. Reducing demand is quicker, cheaper, more sustainable and solves the problem at source.
- Also, while we have to bring on new and cleaner generation plant which loosens our dependence on fossil imports, we have to focus on how we pay for the new investment. The trend is for bill payers, rather than tax payers or shareholders, to take the burden and risk. We must question whether that is right, and government should commit to the least regressive way to fund energy investment.
Notes to Editors
The report – ‘Jobs, growth and warmer homes’ issued in November 2012 by Consumer Focus shows that investing money raised through carbon taxes in a major energy efficiency programme is one of the best ways to create jobs and boost the economy, while also tackling fuel poverty.
The research shows that significant Government energy efficiency infrastructure investment could:
- Generate up to 71,000 jobs and boost GDP by 0.2 per cent by 2015 and create up to 130,000 jobs by 2027
- Lift up to nine out of ten households out of fuel poverty, reducing energy bills in all treated homes by at least £200 per year
- Cut household energy consumption by 5.4 per cent by 2027 and quadruple the impact of the government’s energy savings schemes – Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation
- Cut overall carbon emissions by 1.1 per cent, including household emissions reduced by around 5.6 per cent by 2027