Most Brits unwilling to pay more for green energy

While growing numbers of Britons are keen to help the environment, relatively few would be happy to see their utility bills go up in order to help fight climate change.

That's according to a new study carried out by the Independent on Sunday as world leaders met to draw up plans to avert environmental disaster in the coming decades.

Indeed, of those polled for the research, 57 per cent said that they would not be willing to pay more for their energy bills to help pay for the transition towards green energy, with an additional 20 per cent undecided.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, young people tended to be the most likely to agree to paying more, while Brits over the age of 45 were more likely to be wary of having to fund the battle against climate change through their own bills.

Far from being against green levies, however, the study also found that, while most people are happy to do their bit to fund the development of green energy alternatives, many feel that they are already doing this through their household utility bills.

On a more positive note for consumers, the Chancellor recently announced plans to reduce the average household energy bill by around £30 a year.

At present, families are required to pay £36 a year to fund the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, an initiative geared towards helping suppliers play their role in making homes more efficient, specifically through the installation of insulation.

According to George Osborne, this scheme will be scrapped in 2017, saving all consumers money on their energy bills, and replaced with a cheaper alternative.

However, critics have pointed out that such a move could end up costing many consumers more, especially those who don't already have insulation in their lofts.

"It's extraordinary that the Chancellor has announced huge cuts to home insulation on the very same day we discovered that thousands of people died last winter because of the scandal of cold homes," Lisa Nandy, shadow energy secretary argued.

"By slashing investment in energy efficiency yet again millions of families will be left paying more for their energy bills and people will suffer."

Despite this latest move, it's still estimated that environmental levies are set to double over the coming years, with consumers and companies set to pay £13 billion a year to help fight climate change by 2021.

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