Green taxes form up to 20 per cent of household gas and electricity bills, energy campaigners have warned.
Families are being forced to pay an average of £200 a year in taxes on their energy bills to fund Britain’s investment in wind and solar power.
Campaigners last night demanded greater transparency from energy companies over the levies and accused the government of hiding behind suppliers to raise revenues by the back door.
The call comes amid mounting pressure on energy companies for a fresh inquiry into price rises after the latest round of increases led to accusations of profiteering.
Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the rising price of fuel was partly caused by Britain’s “stubborn but wrong headed commitment to renewable energy”.
British households spends £608 a year on gas and another £424 on electricity on average. Green taxes make up between £154 and £206 of that bill, said Dr Peiser.
“Despite the growing cost of these taxes, you won’t find any mention of them at all on your gas and electricity bills,’ he said.
“That, of course, suits the Government down to the ground. If it raised the huge sums required to encourage renewable energy and limit carbon emission through general taxation it would make the Government itself very unpopular.
“But by doing it through electricity and gas bills, the Government has cleverly ensure that it’s the power companies that take the blame.”
Under the Climate Change Act, the Government is legally bound to cut Britain’s C02 emissions by 34 per cent by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2025.
To meet its targets the Government is encouraging the building of 10,000 wind turbines. It also wants power companies to install £7 billion worth of smart meters in homes.
Last year, research suggested that Green taxes will put an extra £50 on household energy bills as their impact trebles over a decade, research shows.
Politicians yesterday called on the Government to force energy companies to declare the prices they pay for gas and electricity, so that customers can then compare these with what they are being charged. They also called for the industry to be referred to the Competition Commission.
Scottish Power announced on Tuesday that it was increasing customers’ average annual bills by almost £200 from Aug 1, citing a 30 per cent rise in wholesale prices. Other companies are expected to follow within weeks. The company blamed wholesale price increases for the rise, even though these have not been as high as in previous years.
Tim Yeo, Conservative MP and head of the Commons’ energy and climate change committee, said: “If energy companies want to win back trust, they should make clear what they have paid.
“Until we have that transparency, the public will remain suspicious that prices go up rather quickly and come down rather slowly. The amount by which companies increase their prices should relate to what they have actually paid rather than to some theoretical calculation.”