Chancellor George Osborne should take note of the Climate Change Committee’s warning against a dash for gas leading to a huge rise in future household bills.
The Committee suggested energy generation from renewable sources would keep British households’ fuel bills lower than relying on fossil fuels such as gas. It warned of the risks of investing in gas-fired generation, claiming it could push energy bills £600 higher in the next few decades in comparison to relying on low-carbon energy sources.
The report comes as Ed Davey today gave the go-ahead to fracking in the UK following the Chancellor setting up a new department for “unconventional gas” just last week.
The trade body representing the wind, wave and tidal industries welcomed the report.
Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of RenewableUK said: “This report proves that the pound in your pocket is safer with renewables, rather than with gas. We know how much renewables cost but gas has proved to be an extraordinarily volatile commodity. We must loosen its grip, for the sake of all of us hard-pressed bill payers, by switching to a more affordable mix of renewable sources”.
“The Committee on Climate Change’s authoritative report is warning against a dash for gas. The Chancellor should take note of their expert opinion, rather than being swayed by a small minority of less well-informed voices.”
Experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said the country needs to “get used to” the costs of energy and suggested energy efficiency is the way forward.
Richard Gledhill, Sustainability and Climate Change partner said: “Energy, the infrastructure we need to supply it and reducing carbon, are all expensive. We need to get used to that. I know this is a difficult conversation to have in the current climate, but it will be even harder in the future, as prices go up and our options reduce.
“The scale of the challenge we are facing means this isn’t just about the fuel mix and energy choice. Energy efficiency is the low cost option and we need to drive this agenda, as well as energy security. Of course we need smarter technology in the power sector, but we need it in the office and home too. It’s not so much about keeping the lights on, it’s a complete re-wiring of the house.”