EDITOR’S COMMENT: taxpayers should NOT pay the cost of preparing our infrastructure to cope with electric cars. Ordinary men and women are already burdened with excessive taxes. We don’t want ANY MORE green taxes!
The costs of upgrading power networks to cope with electric cars should be paid for through general taxation, the former boss of Ofgem has said.
Reinforcements to local networks for electric vehicles were likely to “run to billions of pounds every year”, Dermot Nolan said. Network costs are paid for through levies on energy bills, a system that he said was “fundamentally regressive” compared with the tax system, which is designed for wealthier people to pay more.
The former regulator said he was particularly concerned because grid upgrades for electric vehicles were “at least initially more likely to give benefits to people who are well-off, given the cost of electric vehicles.
He said that the Treasury may be reluctant to agree to this at a time that the government was running significant deficits because of Covid-19. If it did not and the costs remained on energy bills, “the government and the regulator will have to find ways to protect vulnerable people”, he said.
Ofgem regulates how much monopoly network companies can charge consumers on their energy bills in return for their investments. The regulator is at loggerheads with national power transmission networks over their spending plans for the next five years.
Local power distribution network companies will go through the process again in two years’ time and Mr Nolan said that it was likely to be more contentious because of the much higher sums involved and the costs of readying the network for electric vehicles.