From energy and climate committee - 'Green support now lowers bills long term''

Sir Robert Smith, chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee has this week written to the Prime Minister urging him not to undermine investor confidence and damage energy efficiency schemes through his controversial review of "green levy" schemes.

"We would urge you to be careful not to undermine the very problems the government is trying to solve," Smith said.  Specifically, Smith urged the government to offer early assurances that it will not roll back the long-awaited system of contract for differences that is designed to drive clean energy investment through to 2020.

Smith argued with obvious logic that any short term attempt to water down energy efficiency schemes would in the long term lead to higher energy bills for many households.

"Improving the energy efficiency of Britain's housing stock is crucial to insulate us from rising energy prices and support those on low-incomes struggling to heat their homes," he wrote. "However, the increasing use of levies on bills to fund energy efficiency policies like the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is problematic since it is likely to hit hardest those least able to pay. We have previously noted that public funding is less regressive than levies in this respect. Will you consider moving these sources of funding to general taxation?"