Energy

British Gov’t Enviros ‘Deeply Disappointed’ Power Bills Will Go Down

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Environmentalists in the British government are worried the country’s power bills will soon be going down.

The British government’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) said Friday it is “deeply disappointed” with the United Kingdom Treasury’s planned budget. The EAC feels the current Treasury plan prioritizes reducing power bills over environmental concerns.

Green critics say the Treasury’s plan has no “explicit commitment” to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent. Current U.K. mandates require these emissions reductions to occur by 2032 relative to 1990 levels.

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.

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.

The U.K. actually has relatively cheap power by European standards, paying roughly 14 center per kilowatt-hour. Denmark and Germany are the European nations with the most expensive power, with both countries paying roughly 39 cents per kilowatt-hour due to intense fiscal support for green energy.

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