26th November 2013

Coalition at a deadlock over green energy schemes

Construction industry green energy schemes have come under attack from energy providers and the Prime Minister, but Nick Clegg has leapt to the defence.

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Construction worker fits cavity wall insulationPrime Minister David Cameron’s recent announcement that his party would look to ‘roll back’ existing green energy schemes – designed to make UK housing more energy efficient – was never likely to be well-received in all quarters.

It was Cameron’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg who was first to speak out against the new Tory proposals, however, claiming that he ‘would not accept’ any attempts to scrap the green energy bills in effect at the present time.

Many green energy schemes affect the way in which UK construction firms approach both residential and commercial projects, but Cameron’s words were particularly timely with some major energy providers announcing price increases for the winter months. Presently, funds for green energy schemes are raised through levies attached to consumer energy bills.

Some energy companies have accused these so-called ‘green taxes’ of raising energy prices, although such statements have been labelled self-serving by the Deputy Prime Minister – Clegg is adamant that green energy schemes won’t be scrapped on his watch.

‘Some of these levies are also used to give deductions in people’s fuel bills for two million of the poorest households in our country,’ said Clegg. The Lib Dem leader claimed that he doesn’t ‘accept the premise’ that energy bills have increased as a result of green energy levies, and that ‘60% of the increase in energy bills since 2010 has come from wholesale prices.’
The construction industry will watch the coalition’s future handling of the subject with interest.


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