United Kingdom, London (Mckoy’s News) – UK CO2 and Energy Costs ‘Set to Rise‘: Household energy bills and carbon emissions will rise unless ministers devise new policies to save power, a report says.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) confirms that bills and emissions have been forced down since 2008 by EU energy efficiency rules.
Appliances like fridges, freezers and boilers are now designed to use less energy for the same work.
Ministers say they will make new energy efficiency policy in the Autumn.
But the government’s critics point out that its Clean Growth plan for an efficient low-carbon society is already many months behind schedule.
The CCC says the UK must shift much more swiftly towards electric cars to reduce carbon and tackle local air pollution.
It also says a strategy is urgently needed to insulate millions of homes and create new forms of heating that don’t foul the air or crank up climate change.
The report’s finding on home energy bills will surprise people amidst allegations of energy company profiteering and fears that many households find energy prices too high.
It confirms that although the cost per unit of electricity and gas has indeed risen, household bills have fallen thanks to EU and UK efficiency standards which forced engineers to design appliances that use less energy.
It says since 2008, when the Climate Change Act was introduced, electricity demand is down 17% (despite all our gadgets) and gas demand is 23% lower, thanks to better insulation and UK rules on improved boilers.
The CCC chair Lord Deben told BBC News: “Really good EU regulations have made all our appliances much more efficient. It’s meant we’ve been able to cut bills by about £20 a month for the average consumer.
“It’s been a remarkable success story. But the crucial thing is we’ve got to keep on doing it.”
It is not yet clear how the UK will be affected by future EU efficiency rules, although it will be impossible for UK manufacturers to sell inefficient goods into the EU market.
Catherine Mitchell, professor of energy at Exeter University, told BBC News: “I don’t think most people have any idea about the positive role EU standards play in our appliances in our houses – and have done for the last 25 years, or so.
Contributed by Dr Colin O Jarrett