Several energy companies have reportedly asked the government to suspend green taxes that could increase energy bills this winter by an average of £150 a year.
The measure, which is designed to fund the swift to low carbon heating alternatives, including heat pumps is believed to put more pressure on households that already face an increased price cap.
Energy supplier E.on and renewable companies Bulb, Octopus and OVO have reportedly suggested the suspension of green taxes this year could be a short-term solution to soaring energy bills.
A Bulb Energy spokesperson told ELN: “The focus right now must be to protect consumers from high wholesale gas prices over the winter. We could accelerate the transition from gas boilers to heat pumps by shifting environmental and policy costs from electricity bills to general taxation.
“Right now, so many UK homes are leaking energy like holey buckets. More efficient homes will slash energy bills and reduce the UK’s reliance on expensive, polluting gas. We need grants and financing to help households cover the high upfront costs of things like home insulation or switching to a heat pump.”
Two weeks ago, the government was reportedly considering moving green energy surcharges from electricity to gas bills.
However, BEIS confirmed that no decisions have been taken at that point.
GMB Union described a proposed gas levy to fund low carbon heating as a ‘massive step in the wrong direction’.
Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: “At a time of rocketing gas prices, the last thing either the public or business need is extra taxes on what is an essential utility.
“The decision to tax users ignores the necessity of gas for most homes, or its importance to industry.
“Whilst investment in new low carbon heat sources is necessary, penalising as users alone is unfair and will add pressure to users already struggling with high bills.”
Dr Benny Peiser, Director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, said: “The Energy Minister’s plan to heat households with massive new taxes on heating at a time of sky-high gas prices while millions of families are struggling to keep their homes warm is adding insult to injury.”