Sustainable Energy

UK emissions have fallen and energy bills haven't risen, says new report

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New analysis has shown that U.K. efforts to fight climate change and boost energy efficiency have seen emissions fall, with household energy bills also seeing a reduction since the Climate Change Act was introduced in 2008.

Releasing its report on Thursday, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said that household bills for 2016 were lower than 2008 levels, with higher prices from low carbon policies and network costs offset by "reductions in energy use."

In a news release, the CCC said that while low carbon measures had added roughly £9 ($11) per month to a typical home's energy bill in 2016, this had been tempered by a reduction of over £20 per month as a result of lower energy demand, boosted in the main by greater efficiency from lights and home appliances.

The CCC, an independent body set up to advise the U.K. government, found that energy efficiency improvements had helped the "typical household" save roughly £290 a year since 2008.

"Action to deliver a cleaner, more efficient energy system is already delivering benefits for households and businesses," the CCC's chairman John Gummer said in a statement.

"U.K. emissions are falling – down 38% from 1990 to 2015 – while GDP has risen by almost 65% in the same period," Gummer added.

"Meanwhile, the typical household energy bill has fallen in real terms since 2012. The U.K.'s progress to reduce emissions, and its comparative advantage in important areas such as the automotive sector, offer opportunities for future growth and employment while delivering vital action to tackle climate change."

Friends of the Earth welcomed the report's findings, while at the same time seeing room for improvement.

"This report shows we can tackle climate change and have lower energy bills – that's a massive win-win for consumers and our environment," Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Simon Bullock said in a statement.

"But the U.K. still has some of the most heat-leaking housing in Europe, and measures to help households improve their energy efficiency have been slashed in recent years," Bullock added.

"This must be reversed in the government's imminent new climate change strategy."