Green levies, taxes, targets and sanctions have all been handed out with enthusiasm by the EU leaders, whose dedication to finding the ultimate green energy alternatives may have overshadowed the UK’s fervent wish to stay afloat financially.
There are grave concerns over whether the strict EU energy targets imposed on UK business and domestic customers are too strict, with think tank Open Europe reporting that they could hit residential customers and business owners alike hard in the coming years.
As the EU battles on to boost the amount of energy that member countries produce on their own, reducing the reliance on costly imports and political good-will the everyday cost to bill payers seems to have been overlooked. The current thinking is that if the current targets are not relaxed somewhat that as much as 23% could be added to firms’ energy bills. This amount will cripple business who have already struggled with rising prices, both in powering and heating their business properties as well as fueling their commercial vehicles.
Currently only four percent of the UK’s energy usage is powered via renewable energy and by 2020 the currently target demands that this must be boosted to fifteen percent. The cost of renewable energy incentives to individual firms is already cutting profits and while the need for a greener way to fuel our planet is absolutely necessary many question the urgency of the EU plans.
Back in 2008 the then UK’s then top science advisor, Sir David King reported to the BBC that he was concerned that the ambitious target of boosting the level of energy sourced via renewable methods to 15% overall was actually a mistake, rather than an overly-ambitious plan. A rise to 15% across the whole of the EU, King stated, might have been a more solid and realistic target.
Six years later the targets have not yet been met, nor are they likely to be and yet targets imposed on UK businesses and energy firms to fast track the increase is putting more and more pressure on all concerned. Open Europe estimate than in real terms a generous low estimate of how much these targets could add to the individual household energy bill could be as much as eleven percent, or one hundred and forty nine pounds per annum.
Everyone, from government officials to businesses and of course residential energy customers have heard about and largely support the move into renewable energy sources. Our natural resources are depleted and the environmental cost of continuing the use of more traditional fuel sources has long since been investigated, proven and accepted as a whole. What consumers are primarily concerned about is that the EU are pushing businesses and energy firms too hard and too fast which may in turn cause crippling price increases and economical danger.
Many believe that in order for the targets to be met and sustained without damaging the EU and specifically the UK economy that the deadline needs to be relaxed or staggered somewhat. Whether this report and others like it convince the EU of this remains to be seen. In the meantime businesses and individuals would be wise to continue to keep their energy bills down by being as energy efficient as possible and switching suppliers to take advantage of more competitive tariffs where appropriate.