While debate in the media rages on whether the UK’s green energy policies will raise electricity bills or not, Ed Davey, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has said that onshore and offshore wind power together cost householders only £18 a year in total, according to a Guardian article.
Moreover, Davey said that wind power is needed for the UK’s energy mix to insulate it from global gas prices: “Global gas price hikes are squeezing households. They are beyond any government’s control. The analysis shows that our strategy of shifting to alternatives like renewables and of being smarter with how we use energy is helping those who need it most to save money on their bills.”
The same article noted that UK government analysis published on Wednesday shows that 85% of the current average UK electricity bill (£1,250/year) cannot be controlled by the government because it is determined by international gas and electricity prices, transmission and metering costs.
Greenpeace’s policy director, Doug Parr, said: “green policies are not causing rocketing household bills and they will not do so in future. With the right investment, UK clean energy will only get cheaper. The same cannot be said of gas.”
And this is not the first time that UK government data has found gas price hikes to be the main culprit behind energy bill rises. Back in 2011 this blog reported that the average UK household annual energy bill rose from £604 in 2004 to £1,060 in 2010, and 64% of that increase was down to rises in the wholesale gas price, while just 6.5% was due to subsidies for all renewable energies.
Perhaps media should focus less on subsidies to wind power and more on the real reasons behind the rising cost of electricity. Only then might some media realise that investing in renewable sources of energy that can be produced at home with zero fuel cost will decrease the impact of rising and unpredictable fossil fuel prices.
Figures in this blog post were corrected on 3/04/2013.