Green residents facing an ‘unfair’ energy tax plan

 In News

A plan to put up the energy bills of a millions households who have installed solar panels has been criticised by a Midlands expert as an unacceptable tax on caring citizens.

Green householders pay below average towards the upkeep of the electricity networks because they generate their own power on sunny days and use less supplied via the mains grid. They also benefit by selling back their extra energy produced.

Regulator Ofgem says the present decades-old system is unfair because on dark winter evenings the off-grid customers still have to draw as much power from the electricity networks as their neighbours who do not have solar panels.

They are worried that the system is going to become more unfair as technology transforms the way consumers use energy and that those who cannot avoid paying these charges will be faced with ever growing costs, leading to cripplingly higher bills.

But Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd in Staffordshire, said: “Conscientious people who are moving over to green energy to cut their global footprint and help save the planet are being penalised.

“With carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere at the highest for 800,000 years and with the problem of limiting warming of the earth to the agreed 1.5C above pre-industrial levels these residents should be praised, not punished for their actions.”

At present, households pay an average of about £120 a year towards the upkeep of the electricity networks. This is levied as part of the unit rate that suppliers charge for power supplied via the mains grid, meaning that the more a household buys, the more it contributes to the grid costs.

Now Ofgem wants to overhaul the way Britain’s electricity networks are funded and has begun consulting on a new system that it wants in place by 2020-21.

One of their proposals is to make all households pay a fixed fee for their grid connection, or a charge linked to the maximum capacity they draw from the network at peak times. This would probably mean that homes with solar panels would pay more than they do now, whereas other households could benefit from a small reduction in their bills.

“It is so ironic,” said Ron, “that those who are trying to be green will pay more while those who have done little to cut their carbon emissions will be paying less.”

He is encouraging owners of solar panels to contact Ofgem and object to the proposals for higher bills for green householders by phoning 020 7901 7295 or emailing consumeraffairs@ofgem.gov.uk

Another of Ofgem’s proposals is that electric vehicle owners who charge their cars at peak times when the network is already under strain, could pay bigger levies towards the upkeep of power networks than those who charge overnight.

Any residents wanting more advice on green energy should call Ron on 0845 474 6641 or request a call back.

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