A new report proposes a UK tax on carbon use has been published by the ‘Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment’, and the ‘ESRC Centre for Climate Change and Policy’ at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The report suggests that a new tax of £20 per tonne on all fuels could be implemented. This would increase prices by 0.9% when passed down the supply chain, but is complicated by the fact that behavioural change and business innovation resulting from of tax revenues from carbon pricing are being added back into the economy.
Some UK industries, especially refineries, coal, iron, metals, cement and some chemicals; could then be faced with production cost increases of more than 2%, says the report, adding pressure from foreign competition.
The research states: “Carbon policies will provide incentives to increase energy efficiency and resource productivity which could afford UK producers a competitive advantage in the long term, in a world where fossil fuel prices could rise and carbon reduction policies are likely to become more widespread and ambitious.”
So in a nutshell:
If fuels that have a negative impact on carbon footprint will be taxed, and the COP 21 Agreement is to phase out the use of fossil fuels completely – although no time scale has been set for this as yet – it makes sense to reduce the consumers use of carbon as much as possible.
Adding more insulation to properties can reduce the energy used, but this is really just a temporary gain, and not a long term solution. The best way to reduce carbon use, is to switch from a fossil fuel like gas or oil, straight to electricity, which is a renewable energy source.
This is easily done for new build and renovation work, and very easy to replace old storage heaters, panel heaters, electric fires, underfloor heating, with new energy efficient electric radiators; but the majority of houses and businesses with gas boilers, will take probably another ten years, until the existing old boiler has reached its end of life.
Cost Effective Choice
However, it is still a cost effective choice to scrap a working gas boiler right now, along with all the heavy water filled radiators; and change to electric heating right now. Most of Europe uses electric heating and the UK will eventually catch up.
The cost of doing this can easily be funded by the savings made from gas safe checks, annual boiler maintenance servicing, and the call-out fees and replacement costs of repairs and leaks that would have accrued over the next few years.