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FOSSIL FUEL LEVY: MINISTER WELCOMES EXPECTED CUT

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Tim Eggar, industry and energy minister, today welcomed the announcement by Professor Stephen Littlechild, Director General of Electricity Supply, that he expects to announce a reduction in the fossil fuel levy rate - from 10 to 3.7 per cent, effective November 1 - following the flotation of British Energy.

Mr Eggar said: "This reduction has been made possible by the forthcoming nuclear privatisation and is yet further good news for electricity consumers.

"Electricity bills are already at the lowest level in real terms (excluding VAT) since 1974 and consumers also received a discount of just over £50 in the first quarter of this year following the National Grid flotation.

"The fall in the levy rate should lead to a further reduction in electricity bills of more than six per cent in a full year, or around £19 a year in a typical domestic consumers' bill."

The fossil fuel levy recovers the extra costs incurred by regional electricity companies in England and Wales when buying electricity generated by nuclear and renewables stations under non-fossil fuel obligation arrangements.

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