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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Fossil Fuel Levy cut pre nuclear privatisation

The Fossil Fuel Levy which raises funds to pay for the extra costs of nuclear and renewable energy has been dramatically reduced for the final five months of the current financial year. Electricity Regulator Stephen Littlechild has set a new levy rate for the period running from November 1996 to March 1997 of 3.7% -- down from the present 10%. This reduction is dependent on the successful flotation in July of British Energy -- the company that is to run the more profitable of Britain's nuclear power stations. Littlechild says he expects to keep to the reduced rate, or even lower it further, for the next financial year. Over a full year the reduction would shave some £15-20 off domestic bills. Of the remaining levy, around two-thirds will go to the non-privatised rump of the nuclear industry -- Magnox Electric, and one-third to renewables. This means that renewables are costing the electricity customer an annual £3-4.

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