Levies breakdown

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With energy costs the hot topic in parliaments north and south of the Border, and with David Cameron’s latest idea to lower consumers’ costs by targeting the green levies tacked on our bills, perhaps someone could enlighten me as to why these levies, or the “government environmental and social schemes” we find in the pie charts explaining our bills, vary dramatically according to energy company.

For example (domestic bills only): Npower tacks on 18 per cent to cover the levies; SSE, 8 per cent; British Gas, 20 per cent; ­Scottish Power, 10 per cent; EDF (varies), 11 per cent (electricity) /4 per cent (gas).

Ofgem states it should be 11 per cent. I was led to believe that this stealth tax is a government-­implemented and controlled levy, meaning it shouldn’t be up for interpretation.

How do energy companies, and the governments, justify such vast differences in these percentages? So far, Energy Secretary Ed Davey hasn’t been able to explain it to my satisfaction.

Denise Davis