Scottish Gas boss and GMB union chief call for Govt. to remove renewable energy subsidies from household fuel bills

Consumers have to pay twice for renewable energy subsidies
Consumers pay more for renewable energy subsidies. 

GMB, the union for energy workers, is backing a call by Scottish Gas for the cost of renewable energy subsidies taken off utility bills and instead paid for by general taxation.

The Office for Budgetary Responsibility predicts that the ‘green’ surcharge which the UK’s 27 million households already pay is set to as much as treble over the next five years years to £250 per year.

Iain Conn, chief executive of Centrica, which owns Scottish Gas, said ‘green taxes’ are the main cause of rising household bills and wants the Government to meet the costs from general taxation.

GMB has long argued charging energy customers for green initiatives amounts to a regressive form of taxation.

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer for Energy, said: “Where energy subsidies of any sort can be shown to be justified and in the public interest, it’s clear they should be paid for out of general taxation.

“Hiking hard up customers’ energy bills is nothing more than an unfair and regressive green tax.

“Green subsidies on everybody’s energy bills are set to treble within 5 years to £10 per week. 

“GMB is calling for this to be paid for through general taxation along with an urgent investigation into the wind power ‘racket’ that is lining the pockets of big companies at the expense of every single energy bill payer and household in the country.

“Electricity is a natural monopoly and now the public are being ‘had over’ by paying twice through spiralling consumer energy bills and taxpayer hand outs.

“Each of the 27 million households in Britain has already had to ‘cough up’ to wind farmers for not producing any electricity, and that may be just the tip of the iceberg.”

Meanwhile, the head of Britain’s fastest growing independent energy supplier will today call for immediate action from Government and regulators to help millions of households trapped on punitive energy tariffs operated by the Big Six.

Bill Bullen
Bill Bullen

Bill Bullen, Chief Executive of Utilita Energy, says the Big Six energy providers deliberately under-cut new entrants to the market in a loss-leading strategy to attract new customers – while existing households are left stranded on high tariffs.

He is due to tell a fuel-poverty charity today: “In some cases, the discounts the Big Six are offering to attract new customers are greater than their operational expenditure to provide the service.

“So there would appear to be a case to suggest the Big Six are guilty of differential pricing. We believe that is illegal for dominant players.

“The effect of this is to undercut new entrants to the market, thus inhibiting the growth of competition –  the very thing the Government and regulators say they want to encourage.”

22 Nov 2017

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed