The Energy Bill Revolution is a campaign to make energy bills affordable to all, through the UK government recycling carbon taxes into insulating people’s homes. This will make homes warmer so people have to use less energy to heat them. It would bring nine out of ten fuel-poor households out of fuel poverty, cut carbon emissions and create jobs.
Research in 2008 by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and Buildings Research Establishment showed that every £1 spent on improving energy efficiency in homes where cold is likely to damage people’s health, saves the NHS £34.19 over 10 years, per 100,000 homes. It sounds as if using carbon tax revenue to pay for people’s home energy efficiency improvements would save money for the NHS. So arguing that we can’t afford it because of the need to cut public spending doesn’t sound like sense.
What are these carbon taxes and who pays them?
There are two main carbon taxes: the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and the carbon price floor, that the Coalition government introduced on 1st April 2013. The carbon price floor establishes the rate of fuel duty or climate change levy payable on fossil fuels used to generate electricity. The amount payable will depend on the average carbon content of each type of fossil fuel.
The Coalition government introduced the Carbon Price Floor because the EU ETS has been totally gamed by energy companies, industrial companies and the finance sector. This has derailed the EU ETS aim of using “market forces” to raise the price of tradable carbon emissions to a level that would discourage the use of fossil fuels and encourage investment in renewables. So the carbon floor price is a tax that aims to do the job the EU ETS has failed to do.
Using the money from these carbon taxes to pay for home insulation and other energy efficiency measures would reduce the energy people use and help cut carbon emissions.
There’s also a strong social equity case for spending these carbon tax revenues on improving home energy efficiency.
These carbon taxes will initially increase the cost of electricity. The theory is that this is justified, because the carbon taxes should help shift investment away from fossil fuel electricity generation, towards more renewable electricity generation. If it works, and it’s a big “if” for various reasons, the cost of electricity should come down. But in the meantime, the electricity price increases will push more households into fuel poverty and disproportionately affect single parents and pensioners, who generally spend proportionally more on energy bills than other people do.
The Energy Bill Revolution is supported by by alliance of children’s and older people’s charities, health and disability groups, environment groups, consumer groups, trade unions, businesses, politicians and public figures
Energy Bill Revolution Petition
If you think the UK government should do this, you can sign a petition here.
Early Day Motion 47
An MP has put forward EDM 47 that calls for Parliament to pass the Energy Bill Revolution proposal for the UK government to recycle carbon taxes into insulating people’s homes.
You can email Calderdale’s MP email@example.com and ask him to sign Early Day Motion 47. So far, 135 MPs have signed it.