The UK’s departure from the EU provides an opportunity to phase out “crude” energy policy interventions and bring down bills, according to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

In a report issued on 23 March, the think tank said that “inefficient and costly” green policies had caused energy bills to soar, and that the government should use Brexit to simplify its approach. In particular, it backed the establishment of a single market-based mechanism, such as a cap-and-trade scheme, to apply to all carbon emissions, and said support for vulnerable households should come in the form of electricity vouchers to offset monthly bills.

Report author Diego Zuluaga said: “The UK’s interventionist energy policies have caused prices to rise by over 50% for households and businesses over the last 15 years. Interventions aimed at reducing greenhouse gases have been particularly costly. It doesn’t have to be this way: in the 1990s, electricity charges fell by over 25% even as Britain cut its carbon footprint.”

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