ECO programme means bigger energy bills for consumers

July 26, 2013 10:47 AM

Government officials would like us to believe that its Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme, despite costing £1.3 billion, will have “no impact on consumer bills.” But when a major player in the industry warns against the risk they pose to energy bills, the Government’s blue-sky thinking starts to fall apart.

Keith Anderson, the boss of ScottishPower, spoke out today against the Government’s predictions of how much instigating the ECO programme would cost. The programme covers a raft of measures supposed to help reduce our energy bills, ranging from the instillation of solid wall and cavity wall instillations to full loft insulation and the glazing of windows. Whilst Mr Anderson has said that ScottishPower broadly agreed with “energy costs remaining stable and flat over the next period of time” he warned that there was “increased cost pressures coming through.” Consumers want stable and flat prices, but the Government’s own ECO programme is putting this at risk.

With the scheme expected to end up costing far more than the Government’s initial estimates, Mr Anderson said: “We are seeing a big increase in our costs associated with the new ECO scheme. What we are seeing coming through is, this is in line with what we predicted - not what the government predicted.”

All of the investments in energy saving measures have to paid for, meaning energy companies need to make higher profits. Inevitably, the consumer picks up the cost of this in higher bills. The added cost of the ECO programme does not take into account many of the Government’s other environmental schemes, such as the carbon tax and subsidies for expensive energy sources like wind turbines.

According to energy regulator Ofgem, environmental charges and VAT already make up 11% of to a typical family gas bill and 16% of a typical electricity bill. The average family therefore pays nearly £200 a year in energy taxes. The increased bills that the ECO programme will create mean that the Government is adding yet more to the burden on families struggling with their bills. Help us stop them by writing to your MP at EnergySwindle.org 

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