The British utility Npower blamed government green energy policies for a 15 percent hike in electricity rates for half its customers in March.
A single piece of government legislation, the U.K.’s Climate Change Act of 2008, is estimated to cost the average British household about $13,703 by the year 2030, according to a report by The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The total costs of the policy will eventually add up to three times the annual British National Health Service (NHS) budget.
GWPF’s report says that the government only considered about one-third of the Act’s total costs while simultaneously overestimating potential savings from energy efficiency. GWPF claims that the British government excluded higher energy costs and taxes as well as committing much of the costs of wind and solar power.
U.K. residents already pay a whopping 54 percent more for electricity than Americans, and energy taxes cost residents roughly $6.6 billion every year. Green energy subsidies in the U.K regularly exceed spending caps and account for roughly 7 percent of British energy bills, according to a government study released in July.
Polling indicates that 38 percent of British households are cutting back essential purchases, like food, to pay for high energy bills. Another 59 percent of homes are worried about how they are going to pay energy bills. Companies are getting hit by pricey British electricity as well, and some are even leaving the country because of it, threatening up to 40,000 jobs.
The U.K.’s dependence on wind and solar power is already risking potential blackouts, according to government officials.
Britain is committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 57 percent by 2030, a pledge larger than the 40 percent CO2 reduction proposed by the European Union, but it hasn’t done a good job of following through so far.
The EU’s 2015 CO2 emissions increased by 0.7 percent relative to 2014, while U.S. emissions fell to its lowest level in two decades. The EU spent an estimated $1.2 trillion financially supporting wind, solar and bio-energy and an incalculable amount on a cap-and-trade scheme to specifically lower CO2 emissions.
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