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Foisting green levies onto gas bills will cause public health crisis, Sunak warned

Press release

Green Conservative minister is undermining Sunak’s attempts to come clean with the public over Net Zero

Campaign group Net Zero Watch has condemned Government plans to move renewables levies onto gas users. Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, energy minister Lord Callanan announced a consultation on what he euphemistically called ‘rebalancing’, forcing gas users to pay part of the cost of the UK’s grossly inefficient renewables. The Government hopes that this will make heat pumps and other electric technologies more viable.

Net Zero Watch director Andrew Montford said:

Trying to force up gas bills at a time when people are already struggling to heat their homes is shameful. It will cause a public health crisis. Callanan is utterly callous, but climate extremists only care about their targets, and not whether Granny is going to freeze to death in winter”.

Mr Montford says that it is not clear that moving the levies, running at around £7 billion per year, will be enough to make heat pumps viable, and secondly because if it is, it can only temporarily hide the costs: if gas boilers become a thing of the past, the cost of the levies will have to return to electricity users. Net Zero Watch energy director Dr John Constable said:

Using heat pumps in a wind and solar powered grid is going to be expensive; putting a surcharge on gas to deny people a cheaper and reasonably clean alternative is cruel.”

And Mr Montford warned:

Rishi Sunak has said that successive Governments have deceived people over the cost of Net Zero, but here is the Green Blob in his own party – one of his own ministers no less – launching a shameless confidence trick on the public at large. How can the Prime Minister let them get away with it?”

Notes for editors

  • The plan has been on the agenda since Boris Johnson’s time in Number 10. Net Zero Watch warned of the impact of moving green levies to gas bills at the time.
  • Deaths from cold in winter far outnumber deaths from heat in summer, and fuel poverty is a significant contributory factor. Moving green levies to gas bills will therefore exacerbate a problem that is already serious.