back to article UK lays carbon plan before Earth Goddess

The planet is a little safer today after Britain's envoy to Gaia (and energy minister) Chris Huhne confirmed that the UK is on course to meet its CO2 emissions target. "Meeting the fourth carbon budget of a 50 per cent cut in emissions by the mid-2020s will not have any additional cost implications during this Parliament," …


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  1. JDX Gold badge

    Domestic energy bills will fall by 7% if we use 1/3 less electricity.

    What a bargain.

    1. Another Ben

      Not exactly

      The 7% projected reduction is "compared with what they would have paid in the absence of policies", not "compared with current prices".

  2. Andy The Hat Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Political spin-a-rooney

    Domestic bills to reduce by 7% *hooray!*

    Only if you use 30% less ...

    Hang on, as a pleb and an 'ordinary person', do I not understand that to mean my fuel bills will rocket by about 40% unless I freeze by dangly bits off?

    1. Marvin the Martian

      No, no, just turning off your fridge/freezer will already save you 10-12% --- no impact on house temp. Get a very small TV and monitor (actually, netbook if you still have a desktop), that's another 4-5% -- no impact on house temp. Well, a bit, but it's all waste heat you cut out. Next steps will be bit more drastic, pedal-powered washing machines etc.

      The reason the costs fall by only 7% is that you have to buy lots of replacement stuff (like broken bikes to convert your washers with). You'll get warm hammering stuff together and swearing when you hit your fingers. Nicely toastily warm.

  3. David Dawson


  4. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

    Hard sums...

    "Domestic energy bills will fall by 7 per cent says Huhne, but only if we use a third less electricity."

    I would expect my electricity bill to fall by about 33.3% if I used a third less electricity.

  5. Ru

    Tripled energy costs compared to our neighbours?

    Wow. We're actually planning to sacrifice our own economy as a gesture of goodwill.


    1. Anonymous Coward

      Yo Dude

      As if we needed it, absolute confirmation that they are a bunch of dipsticks with absolutely no idea about anything much.

      Never mind strikers, being a politician should be a capital offense and I would add that shooting is tooooooo good for them. No deterrent effect.

      1. Armando 123

        If Shakespeare were alive, he'd be kicking at the lid. But the first thing he'd write is "First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. And politicians. And celebrities."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree!

      Lets do F ck all.

      After all, it's your illegitimate kids and grand kids that will pay for it all. bring it on!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Build some f*cking nuclear plants then.

  7. bikerboi87

    "Domestic energy bills will fall by 7 per cent says Huhne, but only if we use a third less electricity."

    So in reality they're going to go up by 41% by my calculations

  8. Yet Another Commentard

    Not doubting here, but I am curious why our electricity is 15% more expensive than Germany.

    Does anybody know (fuel mix, taxes, private versus state owned, ignoring carbon related stuff...?).

    The reason for asking would be - why can't we do whatever the Germans are doing to make it cheaper?

    It's hard enough being competitive in a manufacturing industry here, crippling us with power costs, a pretty basic requirement of making things, doesn't exactly help.

    1. LesC


      There is plenty reason for doubt - the Germans are raking in our 15% extra cash. Our German electricity suppliers (RWE, E-ON) are charging us 15% more than their German electricity (RWE, E-ON) suppliers and I suspect the same applies to our Spanish & French electricity suppliers. Apart from Scottish & Southern all our electricity utilities and nuclear power stations (belong to EDF - Electiricitie de France) do not belong to the UK people any more.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      curious why our electricity is 15% more expensive than Germany

      Chief reason is we don't have the land area, compared to our population density, we just don't have the room to put sufficient power generation in place. As it is, we buy in a proportion of our electricity from France.

      The larger European countries are able to have many Hydro-electric plants operating, and have done for a long time, so it's mature technology and the capital expenditure was paid off years ago.

      We don't have the room to have that sort of infrastructure, even if we wanted to.

    3. Chris Miller


      There's a built-in 'green' energy levy to subsidise landowners and wealthy householders to install pointless PV, wind farms etc that can generate humungous financial returns by taxing energy costs (necessarily penalising the poorest most). Now those subsidies have been cut in half, listen to those piggies screaming for their swill!

  9. Tim of the Win

    The idea that we are all going to use less electricity and thus save money is pure fantasy. Many of us have already taken measures to monitor our electricity usage and turn things off when we are not using them. The only way I could use less electricity is by turning off my PC and reading books by candle light instead. No thanks.

    As Mr Coward said above, they should just get on with building nuclear power stations and scrap all these stupid green subsidies that push the price of energy up but deliver very little. I'm all for saving the planet and the best way to do this is nuclear power and scrapping most of the coal and gas power stations.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Equating carbon concerns to wishy-washy supernatural new age crap?


    Drought warning in England is normal for December suddenly?

    But hey, who needs data points, when you've already dismissed the whole scientific establishment as being corrupt? Brilliant avoidance tactic!

    1. Flatpackhamster

      The department of 'Weather is not Climate' called...

      They'd like their George Monbiot talking doll back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        the oil industry called...

        they'd like their talking doll back.

        (weather isn't climate; hence the use of "data point")

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The drought that has affected parts of England since June will last into next summer if there is insufficient winter rain, the Environment Agency has said."

      A drought continuing if there's insufficient rain isn't exactly unexpected. If you'd read the article you linked to you'd have noticed that they weren't warning that there would be a drought in December, they said that if there was insufficient rain, we'd have a dought next year as well.

    3. Enrico Vanni

      Yeah, and (the alleged) climate change will know in future to stop at the UK borders as a reward for our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.

      Oh, and an excess of water up here in Scotland at the moment.....

    4. Andrew 87

      Which data points?

      "Drought warning in England is normal for December suddenly?"

      How about February in 2006? so yes not all of a sudden.

      However, you really need the actual data to view wether this is as a result of climate or other factors.

      Number of water users from 1900 to 2011 (I think that you will see a significant increase in residential and commercial water users over the past 30 years).

      How about water consumption rates yearly over the past 100 years even the uneducated can see that we all use more water now than we did 40 years ago. As kids we used to have a bath once per week whether we needed it or not!

      Number and volume of water storage facilities in the South East? I can think of a few that have been filled in and built over. It was a good revenue generator for the Privatised Water Companies.

      Volume of leaks as opposed to percentage. If the utilisation goes up and the percentage stays the same or reduces the volume could still be increasing.

      enough said!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Gaia theory isn't wishy washy new age crap, it's a serious scientific theory which a slightly unfortunate name. It's proposed by James Lovelock who is a scientific heavy-weight, go and read about it, it's worth it.

  11. 0laf Silver badge


    So my bill will fall by 7% if I use 30% less electricity. That's about £28 a year for me.

    Considering I don't think I can cut down my leccy usage at all, I've low energy migraine inducing bulbs all round, one pc, one telly, one cooker and we switch everything off at night. So I assume I'll have to generate some energy to do this.

    How much will that cost? A bloody lot more than it will save.

  12. Tringle

    OK, Mr Huhne, how many fingers am I holding up?

    The politicos and greens often state that German electricity is a bargain. Err, not it's not. For domestic consumers it's the second highest in Europe, just behind Denmark, and more than twice the UK price. Strange coincidence that these are the two economies with the most renewable energy.

    For industrial users German prices are currently of the order of 18% more than in the UK (figures June 2011).

    Anyone surprised that a greenie like Huhne can't add up? Or even work out which of two numbers is the highest?

  13. A 15

    39.5% increase in cost per Watt by my calc. unless...

    The article predicted a 7% decrease in "Energy" cost if "Electricity" usage is decreased by 1/3. Energy includes gas as well. Her comment may have factored in homes that currently produce heat with electricity (cooking and central heating) converting to gas, which is significantly better in terms of Watt per £ or Watt per gram of CO2.

  14. david 63

    Glad it is not costing Parliament...

    "Meeting the fourth carbon budget of a 50 per cent cut in emissions by the mid-2020s will not have any additional cost implications during this Parliament,"

    Passing on my taxes to in subsidies to initiatives that are not viable enough for private enterprise counts as a cost to me if not to you Mr Huhne.

  15. Nebulo

    Will the last person to leave the country ...

    ... please snuff out the candles.

  16. scientific_linux_01

    Energy is now going to be in 'short supply'

    Scarcity of energy will = SKYROCKETING energy prices.

    Get ready to pay for breathing, it is coming and the political elite will be exempted as well as the social elite.

    Basically going back to pre-Industrial living without air-conditioning and rationed electricity and water usage.

    YOU will not be able to afford the things you have today.

  17. scientific_linux_01

    goodbye electronics

    There will be 2 classes of people.

    Controlling class = Global elites, Political cronies.

    The rest of us = 3rd world living.


  18. Chris Miller

    And if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle

    "Domestic energy bills will fall by 7 per cent says Huhne, but only if we use a third less electricity." And how will this reduction take place? Are magic pixies going to heat my house and my food? Why not tell the truth (oh, of course, he's a politician) and say energy bills will rise by 25%, hitting the poorest (who spend far more of their net income on energy) hardest.

    Still, at least our sacrifice is not in vain - it will cancel out increased emissions from India and China by, oh, about a week. Cretins.

  19. Buzzword

    And on the same day, we learn that a British further education college is outsourcing its energy-consuming data centre to Iceland, partly because electricity in Iceland costs half as much as in the UK and isn't going to rise further.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "but only if we use a third less electricity."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Good luck with that!

    People would rather build more nuke power stations than turn the lights off after them!

    Stop thinking that the populace are clever, they are not! They are just big kids!

  21. Perpetual Cyclist

    This is pie in the sky.

    We will not be getting most of our electricity from gas. UK North Sea gas is in terminal decline, and the UK economy will have imploded to the point where we will not be able to afford to import much gas either. Or coal. Or oil. We will still have a little bit of shale gas left, but that is all.

    We will be largely running on renewables, because once built, the wind , waves, tide and sun are free. The more windmills we build now before our credit rating finally expires in the face of peak oil and global energy shortages, the more electricity we will have in 20 years time.

    We might manage to build one or two nuclear reactors before the bailiffs move in, but I doubt it.

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