Which? says clean energy must be affordableGovernment should ensure green measures are cost-effective

26 April 2012

Wind Farm

Clean energy should not mean costly fuel bills for consumers

As the Prime Minister pledged his support for renewable energy today, Which? warned the government that this investment must be affordable for consumers. 

It also highlighted that current policies need to be rethought if the government wants to ensure that programmes, such as the smart meter roll-out, are cost-effective. 

Speaking at a meeting of international energy ministers in London, the Prime Minister announced a commitment to clean energy from renewable sources.

He announced a proposed £350 million investment in Britain's production of renewable sources such as wind, wave and solar power and said that renewable energy must be 'financially viable'.

This is the Prime Minister's first keynote speech on environmental issues since he took office.

Consumers will foot the bill

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: 'We welcome the Prime Minister discussing green policies and the need to be financially sustainable, but once again the Government seems to forget it also needs to be affordable for consumers who are the ones left picking up the bill.'

Which? is currently campaigning for more affordable energy, as energy bills are UK consumers' number one financial concern. Richard Lloyd urged the government to make sure that any green initiatives are cost-effective, as the price of these initiatives will be passed on to consumers via their gas and electricity bills.

'Too many of the Government's green initiatives are ill-thought out and look set to be ineffective and costly -  from the £11bn smart meter fiasco, the poorly planned Green Deal, the feed in tariff where costs have tripled and the carbon floor price that will push up fuel bills without incentivising investment.'

The smart meter 'fiasco'

A Which?-commissioned report by the Centre for Sustainable Energy revealed serious problems with the lack of government control of the multi-billion pound smart meter roll-out.

The costs of the roll-out, which is being led by energy companies, will be passed on to consumers via their bills. Without proper control of energy company spending on the roll out of meters, these costs could spiral.

Which? wants a complete review of the roll-out including an examination into costs.

More on this…

  • Join our debate - tell us what you think about the government’s commitment to clean energy
  • The Green Deal - our guide to what it means and whether it’s an option for you
  • Cut energy bills - find out how to save money by making your home more energy efficient