Removing the ‘green levies’ element in gas and electric bills will save average home consumers no more than £153 per year, the Renewable Energy Association has told Britain’s head of “government”, amid prices already rising by thousand of pounds, on their way to an expected peak of £4,266 in January.
In her letter yesterday addressed to exiting caretaker Johnson, and his wannabe replacements Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, REA director Dr Nina Skorupska – pictured – describes the average £13 per month saving as “a relatively minimal mitigation”.
“It could, however, devastate investor confidence in renewables, if the business models for existing renewable generation are undermined”, the REA boss warns the Tory trio.
Suspension of VAT on energy bills, as introduced in France, has long been an REA “ask”, Skorupska reminds the ministers.
Sustainability elements in bills have for several years funded payments contracted to generators under the Feed-in Tariff and remaining Renewables Obligations. They are fetishised by right-wing Conservatives, – particularly sixty or so MPs in Craig McKinlay’s Next Zero Group – many of whom belittle or deny decades of proven science relating to human-induced climate degradation.
In many economies, subsidies – usually time-limited – have been essential to renewables’ adoption. In Britain, wind, solar and hydro power now account for approximately 40% of Britain’s electricity. Only “legacy” developments continue to qualify for the UK’s public support.
Skorupska also urged returning honeymooner Johnson and his warring would-be replacements to convene an urgent energy crisis summit.
“Support packages need time to be formulated, implemented and, most importantly, felt by households and businesses alike”, the renewables champion declares.
“Every week that goes by is precious time that is being lost”, the REA boss writes.
“There needs to be real clarity combined with collective and decisive leadership – the country simply cannot afford to wait another month”.
CBI boss Tony Danker issued the same appeal earlier this week.
Leading contender for PM Liz Truss has rejected new relief measures targeted at benefit recipients and the poorly paid. Against sense the former Remain-voter and Liberal Democrat insists her preferred tax reliefs will benefit non-taxpayers.
REA boss Skorupska notes: “The leadership contest has produced divergent strategies to tackle the crisis, with several policy pledges inconsistent with each other and communicated with varying degrees of detail. This is creating uncertainty for our members and the wider business community.
With chancellor Nadhim Zahawi reportedly still on holiday, lame duck caretaker Johnson was reportedly a surprise attender yesterday, as ministers and D-BEIS, Treasury and Cabinet Office officials met energy bosses.
The encounter ended in procrastination. Twice-sacked liar Johnson announced that no targeted support for consumers would be confirmed before 5 September. That’s when votes from around 160,000 Conservative Party members will decide Britain’s next head of government.
Twelve months ago, the boosterish top Tory described rocketing wholesale gas prices as a ‘temporary problem’.
This morning D-BEIS launched a month-long consultation, seeking energy-intensive firms’ views on steps to mitigate rocketing tariffs. Ofgem’s much criticised retail price cap applies only to residential users.
Addressing makers of steel, cement, paper, glass, ceramics among others, energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng reminded them today’s consultation builds on a three-year extension announced in April of the Energy Intensive Industries Compensation Scheme, with a doubling of its budget
Between 85% and all of “environmental and policy costs” in industrial users’ tariffs could be removed, under the D-BEIS proposal.
The latest consultation is being led by this D-BEIS official.
The consultation will offer little to non-intensive commercial consumers. On LBC Radio this morning, a formerly Conservative-voting owner of a Southend-on-Sea chip shop employing ten said he would be opening only three days per week, after his existing gas supplier quoted an eleven-fold increase in tariffs.
One important point that was not mentioned, is that the direct link of electricity to gas prices must be cut. It made sense when most electricity was generated by gas fired power stations, but that is no longer the case. The artificially high electricity price is discouraging the switch from burning fossil fuels in our homes and to drive our transport, to electric powered equipment such as ground source heat pumps, electric and hydrogen-electric cars for our personal life and fossil-free energy for industry and public facilities.