THE fight against climate change will mean bigger bills for all – but there are ways to slash the costs.
Households face paying higher renewable energy levies on power bills, ditching boilers and petrol/diesel cars and paying tax contributions to support green schemes.
But the price of the UK reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is far lower than the devastating long-term impact of global warming, which would hammer economies.
With world leaders meeting at COP26 in Glasgow to thrash out carbon-cutting plans, climate change experts at the Grantham Institute said: “Creating a zero-carbon economic transformation involves people making different choices about how they live.
“Financial costs will be distributed in different ways among consumers.”
Last year, The Sun launched its award-winning Green Team campaign to encourage readers to sign up to a series of pledges to make small changes to their lives that would generate big savings for the environment — and their wallets.
The Government said: “The net zero strategy supports measures to transition to a green future, helping consumers move to clean power, supporting jobs and leveraging private investment.”
Here are some of the extra costs we face to tackle the climate crisis . . .
THE sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be outlawed from 2030.
Electric vehicles cost more to buy, with the lowest second-hand prices often £5,000 to £10,000, which would get you a first-generation Nissan Leaf with high mileage. Other car makes can cost far more.
But prices are set to fall in years to come.
HOW MUCH IT WILL COST ME: £5,000-plus for a second-hand electric car.
HOW TO CUT COSTS: Government grants can knock £2,500 off the cost of some new electric vehicles.
Electricity is far cheaper than petrol, costing around £5 per 200 miles driving on a home charge.
Driving 9,000 miles a year would cost around £1,200 for petrol, but only £225 for electricity.
SALES of new gas boilers will be banned from 2035.
Instead, we are set to switch to heat pumps, which are more efficient and powered by electricity.
They currently cost around £10,000 to install, but a £5,000 grant scheme launches next year – and installation costs are set to fall to around £5,000 within a few years.
HOW MUCH IT WILL COST ME: £5,000 if you get a heat pump now, but much less if you wait a few years.
HOW TO CUT COSTS: Apply for a £5,000 grant, available from April 2022.
Energy bill levy
HOUSEHOLDS already pay a green levy as part of their electricity bill, averaging around £100 a year.
It helps to fund renewable energy projects including wind turbines and solar panel farms.
The surcharge is expected to rise amid the push to cut carbon emissions – but power bills could fall in the long term as renewable energy is expected to become cheaper to create.
HOW MUCH IT WILL COST ME: £150 a year per household.
HOW TO CUT COSTS: The green levy is a percentage-based slice of your bill, so cutting the energy you use will mean paying a lower levy.
AROUND £15billion of taxpayers’ money a year is spent on “environmental protection”, which includes waste management and protecting landscapes, air quality and biodiversity.
Tackling climate change is set to add to some of these costs. Around seven per cent of your council tax bill is spent on rubbish processing, with local authorities using a slice of this on finding greener ways to deal with rubbish and recycling.
HOW MUCH IT WILL COST ME: £100s per year.
HOW TO CUT COSTS: Reduce your own carbon emissions, helping to keep government and council costs of fighting global warming to a minimum.
Safety net zero
THE Government wants us to make homes more energy efficient. A third of heat loss goes through walls, so cavity wall insulation can help prevent that. Houses should have proper loft insulation.
Professional draft-proofing cuts wasted heat, too.
HOW MUCH IT WILL COST ME: £400 for wall insulation, £400 for loft insulation and £200 for draught-proofing
HOW TO CUT COSTS: Go DIY rather than calling on a professional. Some low-earners and benefit recipients can get free insulation from power firms.
More government grants are expected in the future. And remember, using less energy to keep the house warm means lower bills.
‘Tim keen on going electric’
TIM HAND plans to switch to an electric car – and accepts paying towards the other costs of combating climate change.
The finance consultant from Kingston, South West London, said everyone needs to chip in to help achieve net zero.
He called for more Government incentives to get Brits to support carbon-cutting schemes, as well as better infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Tim, 39, who has a two-year-old daughter, Lara, with actress wife Betsy, 28, said: “I lease a petrol car, but I’d like an electric one – however, we live in a flat and there are no parking spaces with electric charging points.
“The Government needs to increase charging points to make it easier for people to cut emissions.
“Everyone needs to play their part, but costs should be spread fairly across society.
"People would be encouraged to take more steps to deal with climate change if there were more grants available to help reduce emissions – for example, towards the cost of home insulation.”
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