Greenest government ever? Depends how much it costs us
The Prime Minister once promised ‘the greenest government ever’. Today he warned the move to green energy must be financially sustainable. We’re worried not enough’s being done to help consumers.
Energy ministers from 23 countries are in London for a ‘Clean Energy’ summit.
The Prime Minister has used the opportunity to tell ministers that he is passionate about renewable energy. He warned that green energy needs to be ‘financially sustainable’, particularly as families struggle with bills in the face of higher gas prices.
Higher gas and electricity prices
This inevitably leads us to ask – is the government doing all it can to help consumers as they press for more investment in low-carbon energy? After all it’s you and me left picking up the bill.
We know that soaring fuel bills remain our number one financial concern and will continue to be a worry as the country enters recession once again.
It’s good news that David Cameron is discussing these issues and recognises the need for the government’s policies to be financially sustainable and affordable. We too want affordable energy for everyone.
But this isn’t just about rhetoric – we have to judge the government on the policies it’s delivering.
Ill-thought out green initiatives
Too many of the government’s green initiatives are ill-thought out and look set to be ineffective and costly – from the £11bn smart meter fiasco, the poorly planned Green Deal, the Solar PV feed-in tariff where costs have tripled and the carbon floor price that will push up fuel bills without incentivising investment. They’re all issues we’ve discussed on Which? Conversation and know that many of you share our sentiments.
Just this week on Which? Convo, John Healey MP agreed the smart meter roll-out ‘cannot end up being a billion-pound calamity’. We’ve been able to take on your concerns about smart meters and present them to government along with our own. Commenter Dave feels strongly about the issue:
‘It is too big to fail but if it goes ahead at present it will fail.’
And Chris told us:
‘I see no real harm in the concept of a smart meter, it’s this use for that £11 billion I’m not keen on, especially as times are currently tough. It would buy an awful lot of insulation.’
Many feel the green deal has lost its shine too. Commenter Alan said:
‘The Green Deal is a way for energy companies to get round their legal commitments cheaply. The only people who’ll be better off in ten years will be those companies.’
Renewable energy is important to the UK
We think it is important that the UK’s energy system is sustainable. Renewable energy and nuclear power can provide a useful hedge against volatile gas prices.
However, there are significant challenges and costs associated with low-carbon generation. And the costs to bill payers must be taken very seriously. This means that the government must develop policies that really will encourage us all to save energy and protect us from volatile future prices, but this must not come at any price.
Has the Prime Minister’s speech today convinced you the government is offering consumers a fair deal?
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