This week World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim openly slammed fossil fuel subsidies stating: “Fossil fuel subsidies send out a terrible signal: burn more carbon.” As backdrop to this, last week Michael Greenstone, ex-Whitehouse adviser and leading professor of economics at the University of Chicago published an article in the New York Times warning that extracting and burning all the world's fossil fuels would mean a 9 degree rise in global temperature. When the world’s leading scientists have warned that we must keep global temperature rises to a maximum 2 degrees, this is a frightening statistic.
The simple reality is that the vast majority of the world’s oil, gas and coal reserves should not be burnt and the energy industry should instead be getting ready for a cleaner, safer future. Unfortunately most energy companies don’t seem ready to see the bigger picture.
What’s needed is a signal, that it’s time to get off the fossil fuel hook and encourage new, cleaner, smarter technologies to take their place. One of the most effective ways of doing this would be level the playing field by removing the subsidies extra financial support given to the fossil fuel industry. The International Energy Agency recently reported that the value of this support to fossil fuel companies total globally is around £375 billion. That’s four times the total value of subsidies for renewables. The UK is no angel either. The UK is the fifth biggest fossil fuel subsidiser in the G20 spending a total of £2.6 billion per year propping up fossil fuels like oil and gas*.
Well, OVO Energy would prefer to see as little extra support going to both fossil fuel and renewable industries as possible. Putting a ‘price on carbon’ (making sure polluters pay for what they emit) would be much fairer and more efficient. With a real level playing field like this, low carbon technologies could compete without the need for big subsidies, and the public money saved could go to anything from the NHS to energy efficiency. And now is the perfect time to do it, as oil prices are low so there’s less difference between the cost of low carbon and fossil fuels than there’s been in recent memory.
Malaysia and Indonesia have been reducing their subsidies and India and Egypt a looking to follow suit. It’s time for the UK to get with the programme!
*It’s worth noting that the majority of the £2.6 billion goes towards discounting VAT on domestic energy i.e. gas and electricity. We respect that removing this subsidiary would put upward pressure on energy bills. But we believe that £2.6 billion per year could be better spent thereby providing greater benefit to customers.
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OVO Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879
Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.
1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.