CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY

We are delivering in government the green Conservative agenda we promised in Opposition. We are also determined to keep families'’ energy bills down at a time when budgets are tight.

We are creating a cleaner, greener Britain with our ambitious policies to encourage green growth, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, improve energy efficiency and demand global action on climate change.

The bigger picture

• We have taken determined action to keep energy bills down, while setting out a realistic plan to deliver the investment we need in our energy infrastructure to keep the lights on.

• We will deliver a diverse energy mix to make us less dependent on imported fossil fuels.

• Our Green Deal will spark an energy efficiency and home improvement revolution.

Keeping energy bills down

Action to date

• We have overhauled Feed-in Tariffs for solar panels in order to deliver a more financially sustainable scheme and limit the impact on bill payers.

• We have stopped Ed Miliband's plans to increase energy bills by £193 a year by funding renewable heat and carbon capture plants from general taxation instead of extra levies on bills.

• We introduced the Warm Homes Discount requiring energy companies to automatically cut £130 off the bills of low income and vulnerable households. As a result 2 million households, including 1 million of the poorest pensioners will get a discount on their energy this winter and from now on.

• We have permanently trebled Cold Weather Payments and protected spending on Winter Fuel Payments at the same level as budgeted by Labour.

• Our Green Deal will ultimately deliver energy savings to customers worth around £550 a year for the most energy inefficient homes.

Planned actions

• We are legislating in the Energy Bill to make sure that all energy customers are put on their supplier’s lowest variable rate unless they choose otherwise. There is £300 in difference between the most expensive and cheapest tariffs on the market so to say this will make a difference to many families.

• We are legislating in the Energy Bill to limit Energy companies to four core tariffs per fuel to end the proliferation of tariffs that has taken place over the last few years. We will require suppliers to have one standard variable rate tariff, and one fixed term fixed price tariff.

• We are legislating in the Energy Bill to provide for simpler bills. We will ensure that energy suppliers provide estimates of savings that could be made by moving to the cheapest tariff on customer’s bills.

Ensuring a diverse energy mix

Action to date

• We have permitted the resumption of Shale Gas exploration and the Chancellor took action in his 2013 budget to incentivise Shale gas exploration.

• We are facilitating new nuclear power stations by removing unnecessary obstacles to investment, while ensuring there is no public subsidy.

• We are committed to the target of 15 per cent of our electricity supply coming from renewables by 2020. To help achieve this goal, we are investing in offshore wind and marine energy.

• We have pledged £1 billion for the world’s first commercial-scale Carbon Capture and Storage power station.

• We are encouraging renewable heat through the Renewable Heat Incentive. The RHI launched for the non-domestic sector in November 2011.

Planned actions

• We will legislate to reform the energy market so that we can attract the £110 billion of investment needed just to keep the lights on.

• We will reduce the likelihood of blackouts and ensure there is sufficient reliable capacity to meet demand.

• We will limit carbon emissions from the most polluting fossil fuel power stations.

• For too long, communities have felt they don’t receive any benefit from hosting wind farms. We will change this, for example by making sure communities keep the business rates from nearby wind farms.

• The Renewable Heat Incentive will be opened to householders from summer 2013.

Combating climate change while protecting UK industry

Action to date

• We have set up 'UK Green Investments' to start investing now ahead of the establishment of the Green Investment Bank.

• We have published ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions, setting an example to our competitors in Europe. However, we will not put British industry at risk, so we will revisit the targets we have set if other countries fail to match our ambition.

• At the Durban climate conference in December 2011, we were instrumental in delivering a ground breaking global agreement on climate change. More than 120 countries formed a 'coalition of high ambition' in support of a roadmap to a legally-binding deal, to be in place by 2015.

Planned actions

• By 2015, we will have invested £3 billion of public money in the Green Investment Bank, unleashing a further £15 billion of private investment.

• We will work towards a global deal on climate change to be agreed no later than 2015.

• The Carbon Price Floor will take effect from April 2013, incentivising low-carbon energy.

Delivering an energy efficiency revolution

Action to date

• On 28 January 2013 the Green Deal was launched, offering householders long-term loans to help make their homes more energy efficient and cutting bills.

• Under the Green Deal, bill payers will be able to get energy efficiency improvements without having to front up the cash. Instead, businesses will provide the capital, and consumers will pay back the costs over time through their energy bills.

• At the heart of the Green Deal is the 'golden rule': estimated savings on bills will always equal or exceed the cost of the work.

Planned actions

• The Green Deal is expected to support up to 60,000 jobs in the insulation sector alone by 2015, up from around 26,000 today.

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