Archived press release
Never ending energy bill rises on the cards without green energy reforms
The price of gas, not green measures, is driving energy bill rises - and only a radical switch to renewable power and energy efficiency will curb price hikes, Friends of the Earth is warning as the Government launches its Electricity Market Reform White Paper today (Thursday 12 July 2011).
The environmental campaigning charity welcomes Government's recognition of the need to reduce the nation's reliance on fossil fuels such as gas and oil, but says the proposals don't go far enough to free the country from its dependence on increasingly expensive energy sources.
Friends of the Earth's executive director Andy Atkins said:
"Households across the country are picking up the bill for an electricity system that needs an urgent overhaul.
"If we keep relying on dirty imported energy and expensive nuclear to power our homes, we'll all pay the price for years to come.
"Our politicians have woken up to the urgent need to get off the runaway train of rising fossil fuel prices - but today's proposals don't go far or fast enough.
"After 50 years of public cash, the Government promised to end the hand-outs to the uninsurable nuclear industry - but these plans will pump more money into new reactors.
"This is the opportunity to put power back in the hands of the people - not just the six big energy companies - and to unleash the potential of the UK's wind, waves, tides and sun.
"The Government must help insulate homes, get new companies to invest in renewable energy and support communities to generate their own power."
Notes to editors
1. Prices for the gas used to generate half Britain's electricity have jumped 84 per cent since 2004; gas prices for domestic use have more than doubled over the same period - the last five years for which there are figures. Over the same period, total domestic energy bills rose by 90 per cent. During this period, average costs of renewables have increased from two per cent of electricity prices to three per cent - or around one per cent of total bills.
2. Friends of the Earth's briefing on the Electricity Market Reform: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/electricity_market_reform.pdf
3. Friends of the Earth is also calling on the Government to take action in the Energy Bill currently going through Parliament to ensure all councils have a climate change strategy, bring forward to 2016 the proposed minimum energy efficiency standard for rented homes and ensure the UK has a compressive energy efficiency strategy which is sufficient to meet carbon targets and end fuel poverty.
4. Friends of the Earth believes the environment is for everyone. We want a healthy planet and a good quality of life for all those who live on it. We inspire people to act together for a thriving environment. More than 90 per cent of our income comes from individuals so we rely on donations to continue our vital work. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk
If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.