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It's Official-Renewables keeps household fuel bills lower than gas

13 December 2012

RenewableUK has welcomed today’s report by the Committee on Climate Change which shows that generating energy from renewable sources will keep British household fuel bills lower than relying on expensive fossil fuels such as gas.

The CCC’s report highlights the fact that increases in gas prices drove household bills up by 62% between 2004 and 2011. In comparison, support for the entire spectrum of low-carbon technologies, including renewables, led to an increase of less than 10% over the same period.

Looking ahead, the Committee warns of the risks of focussing investment on unabated gas-fired generation, which it says could push household bills £600 higher in 2050 compared to relying on low-carbon sources of electricity.

The Committee also states that support for the entire range of low-carbon technologies will increase domestic bills by around £100 by 2020 (a 10% increase on the 2011 bill) – far lower than figures quoted in some media reports.

Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK Chief Executive, said:

“This report proves that the pound in your pocket is safer with renewables, rather than with gas. We know how much renewables cost, but gas has proved to be an extraordinarily volatile commodity. We must loosen its grip, for the sake of all of us hard-pressed bill payers, by switching to a more affordable mix of renewable sources”.

“The Committee on Climate Change’s authoritative report is warning against a dash for gas.

The Chancellor should take note of their expert opinion, rather than being swayed by a small minority of less well-informed voices”.

The report comes on the day that the Energy Secretary, Edward Davey, announced that shale gas would not contribute to the UK’s energy mix for some time to come, and that what he described as the “seismic risks” brought by shale would be subject to new controls.

Mr Davey said: "We are still in the very early stages of shale gas exploration in the UK and it is likely to develop slowly. It is essential that its development should not come at the expense of local communities or the environment”.

Ms McCaffery commented:

“Today’s announcement from the Energy Secretary reinforces that we’re at an early stage when it comes to fracking for fossil fuels. Renewable technologies such as wind energy are tried, tested and proven. Shale gas may yet have a role to play but how big that is remains to be confirmed, and we need to focus on ensuring we maximise the economic and climate change benefits from our renewable energy resources.”

Notes

1. The full report by the Committee on Climate change can be found here: http://www.theccc.org.uk/reports/energy-prices-and-bills-2012

2. The Committee’s press release on their report can be found here:

http://www.theccc.org.uk/news/latest-news

3. Details of the comments made by the Energy Secretary Edward Davey on shale gas can be found here: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_164/pn12_164.aspx

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RenewableUK is the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association, specialising in onshore wind, offshore wind and wave & tidal energy. Formed in 1978, we have an established, large corporate membership ranging from small independent companies, to large international corporations and manufacturers. Acting as a central point of information and a united, representative voice for our membership, we conduct research; find solutions; organise events, facilitate business development, and promote wind and marine renewables to government, industry, the media and the public. Our vision is for renewable energy to play a leading role in powering the UK.