Energy policies likely to burn big holes in our pockets

Consumer Focus, the watchdog for energy consumers, has warned the consumer is likely to foot the bill of the Government’s risky play on the Carbon Capture and Storage mechanism. Richard […]

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By Tom Gibson

Consumer Focus, the watchdog for energy consumers, has warned the consumer is likely to foot the bill of the Government’s risky play on the Carbon Capture and Storage mechanism.

Richard Hall, energy expert at Consumer Focus, said: “CCS is a gamble. It has the potential to make fossil fuels more viable in the lower carbon-world of the future, but there are no guarantees that the technology will ever become commercially viable. With a possible price tag of several billion pounds it is essential that the Government keeps an incredibly close eye on the costs.”

Last week, Minister of State Charles Hendry said that a project for CCS would cost the British taxpayer £1bn and that there were to be another three projects to follow, of which the prices aren’t known.

Mr Hall said the recent budget announcement wouldn’t be kind to the bill-payers: “Consumers are likely to foot a double whammy of costs as they’ll be paying for CCS through their taxes but will also pay for the carbon floor price through their energy bills.”

However, according to Mr Hall, those on higher incomes are likely to suffer the most: “If households are to be expected to fund CCS, taxation is the slightly better option, as this means more of the cost is met by those on higher incomes who are better able to pay.”