New green gas charge for all is unfair – energy expert
A new government environmental charge of £6.90 a year on all customers no matter how much energy they use is unfair, said a Midlands expert.
Ron Fox was commenting on The Green Gas Levy to fund the increased use of biomethane gas, a renewable gas created from animal or plant waste used particularly to power boilers in homes or in industrial processes in factories, instead of fossil fuels.
“It is right that the Government is developing greener forms of energy, but it is not right that an elderly person living alone in a one-bedroom flat should have to pay the same as a millionaire in a mansion,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park (www.noreus.co.uk).
The tax was announced in the March budget this year and is due to be implemented in April 2022. This would be an additional cost of £1.40 a year at first, but the Government estimates this would rise to £6.90 annually by 2028.
“Although it is a relatively small amount,” said Ron, “householders already pay more than £162 a year or 16 per cent on a typical annual duel-fuel bill for green energy policy costs, such as subsidies for wind and solar farms and insulation.
“But the difference is that all these other charges are factored into what a customer pays for each unit of energy, so those who use more, pay more,” he added.
In reply the Government said they had chosen to introduce this green gas levy on a charge per gas meter because it was simple to implement quickly and provided a certainty on costs.
They also pointed out that this plan would help the UK reach its target of being net zero by 2050, and would not hinder businesses with extra costs when they were recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ministers also hoped to introduce the charges on pro rata of gas used by 2024/25 or as soon as possible after that.
The scheme will apply to energy suppliers in England, Scotland and Wales and is estimated to prevent up to 21.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere – the equivalent of planting 71 million trees.
The Government said they were keen to find new ways to heat homes and businesses with green energy.
A spokesperson for the biomethane industry said this move could provide heating for 6.4 million homes, create tens of thousands of jobs and boost energy and food production security. As biomethane is already compatible with the UK gas grid, it is also a particularly cost-effective way to decarbonise the UK’s heating infrastructure.
“During lockdown many household budgets are also under pressure as well,” concluded Ron. “But there is still time for the Government to think again and bring in a fairer pricing system.”
For more details about green energy ideas, call Ron on 0845 474 6641.