David Cameron and George Osborne have both declared that they are against stealth taxes. Nick Clegg has called for 'open and honest' Government. Now is the time for them to put their money where their mouth is and do something about this stealth tax.
(Vocus) July 17, 2010
Energyhelpline.com today called on the new Government to halve a “stealth” energy tax that is costing British consumers £864 million a year.
The independent energy price comparison website said many households had no idea they were paying at least £32 a year extra to fund the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) green initiative.
A survey* of energyhelpline.com customers found 94 per cent had no idea about CERT and 97 per cent did not approve of paying extra to fund the scheme, which was launched with the aim of reducing household energy consumption.
Mark Todd, director of energyhelpline.com, said: “David Cameron and George Osborne have both declared that they are against stealth taxes. Nick Clegg has called for ‘open and honest’ Government. Now is the time for them to put their money where their mouth is and do something about this stealth tax.”
Energyhelpline.com is calling for:
1. The CERT stealth tax to be clearly highlighted on everyone’s energy bills so that it is no longer a hidden charge, helping householders to clearly compare energy prices.
2. Phone numbers for Warm Front and the Energy Savings Trust, the organisations that distribute CERT money to households, to be shown on bills so customers can apply for funds.
3. A halving of the “stealth tax” to save UK consumers £432 million a year.
Todd, director of energyhelpline.com, said: “The Government is supposed to be trying to drive down energy bills not drive them up. They are looking at cuts and one popular measure would be to reduce the cost of CERT. Ninety seven per cent of our customers do not approve of the scheme. This would not cut the deficit but it will cut people’s bills.
“Millions of consumers are in the dark over the fact they are paying £97 over a three-year period in their energy bills which they feel are already too high anyway.
“They will have paid £2.6 billion on CERT by March 2011 but a lot of this money is being sucked up in bureaucracy rather than the fight against climate change. Halving the scheme would save consumers £432 million a year and make suppliers think of more effective means of improving domestic energy efficiency.”
However, the energy comparison website energyhelpline.com said providers had to make profits to satisfy the markets and often when challenged on a lack of price cuts they point to increase in green taxes, such as CERT.
Todd concluded: “For environmental taxation to work in changing behaviour, the Government needs to explain clearly and simply the purpose of CERT and how it is going to meet its objective of helping British households reduce their carbon emissions.”
- Energyhelpline.com polled 1,125 customers from June 8-11, 2010.
CERT is administered by Ofgem, and is the name for Phase 3 of the Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC) programme. Phases 1 and 2 of the EEC ran from 2002 to 2008. Phase 3 (CERT) is running from April 2008 to March 2011.
Under the scheme Suppliers must meet individual targets for the
reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in homes. The target for CERT will be overall lifetime carbon dioxide savings of 154 MtCO2 (million tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent) delivering annual net savings of 4.2 MtCO2 at the end of the programme.