A government adviser has said that the low-carbon goals for the energy sector in Britain could push energy bills up by 10% by 2020.
Experts warn that these cost to homeowners can be cut if they partake in greener energy use themselves, by using heating controls and more efficient lighting.
Large applicances, such as washing machines and refrigerators, are often marketed as low energy consuming, and can keep energy prices down further.
Though Britain is attempting to lead globally with its low-carbon goals, the Committee on Climate Change said that its best estimates expect households to shoulder the burden of an extra £110 pounds on average each year.
In 2010, the average yearly energy bill was £1060.
These were only their most favourable estimates, as the CCC predicts a 20% rise in energy bills if households do not achieve the existing energy efficiency standards by 2020.
Because of this, the organisation is urging the government to introduce policies that would boost improvements in energy efficiency in hopes of keeping down prices.
These measures could keep energy bills “contained at their current levels,” said chair of the CCC Adair Turner.
Costs of policy
The CCC’s research into how climate change policies will affect household bills “disprove” the claims that energy bill increases are all due to environmental policy costs, the Committee said. In some cases, the bill increases over the next decade were estimated to be as high as £3,000 pounds by anti-climate-regulation research.
Instead, the CCC found that most UK households have experienced higher energy charges because 84% have duel-fuel energy bills, with gas for heating rather than electricity. The dependence on gas heat has made the majority of UK households vulnerable to the recent spikes in wholesale gas prices.
There is a precedence for this, as households saw the same fuel price spikes in 2004 and 2010.
To fight against devastating energy cost rises, the CCC says that insultation and more efficient heating controls could curb household gas consumption by 8%.
A further 19% of electricity consumption could be switched just by replacing lights and appliances with the most efficient models.