From April, English and Welsh customers will be able to see from their electricity bills that the cost of the government's programme of support for renewables adds less than 1% to electricity prices. April is when nuclear generation ceases to receive a subsidy from the Fossil Fuel Levy. This will allow regulator Stephen Littlechild to reduce the levy to 0.9% from its present 2.2%. The levy is collected from licensed electricity suppliers to pay for the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) programme of renewables support. The latest move is ironic, since the NFFO was first devised as a means of subsidising nuclear generation. Renewables only benefited from the levy by hanging on to nuclear's coat tails. Littlechild has also revealed that Scottish customers will see their electricity bills increase slightly, as he raises the levy in Scotland to 0.8% -- a rise of 0.1% from the present rate. This is to pay for increasing amounts of renewable generation due to come on stream in 1998/99 under the Scottish Renewables Obligation (SRO).
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol