The government has been urged to rethink a new “green gas” scheme under which every gas customer in Britain would be charged a flat levy of up to £6.90 a year, irrespective of how much energy they use. A pensioner living alone would pay the same amount as a supermarket or a millionaire in a mansion. Industry critics have likened the plan to a poll tax. The green gas levy was announced in the March budget and is designed to fund the increased use of biomethane, a renewable gas created from animal or plant waste that can be used instead of fossil fuel gas. The government says that the scheme will help to cut carbon emissions and boost jobs, but admits that it “will see the same level of costs being added to all gas bills”. Dame Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, the consumer charity, said: “Developing greener forms of gas is the right thing to do, but these proposals could see someone in a studio flat paying the same amount as a stately home or factory. At a time when household finances are strained for many, the government must find a way to make these costs fair.” Energy policy costs, such as subsidies for wind and solar farms and insulation schemes, account for almost 16 per cent, or more than £162 a year, on a typical household’s annual dual-fuel bill. Most existing charges are factored into the price that a customer pays for each unit of electricity — meaning that those who use more, pay more.
Times 27th Oct 2020 read more »