The minister admitted that the Government is powerless to protect home owners from rising gas and electricity prices, which will be continue to be “pushed up” by fuel prices on the world market.
He also said that the range of green initiatives that the Government has committed to support – such as solar, wind and nuclear energy – will add £280 a year to utility bills within the next decade. These costs include putting so-called smart meters in homes, making consumers pay to support the reform of the electricity market, and charging a tariff to support the development of renewable energy.
Energy bills have already risen by a fifth this year, heaping pressure on household budgets. The average annual dual fuel energy bill now stands at over £1,200, according to Uswitch.com, the online comparison site.
Mr Huhne used the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) annual Energy Statement to Parliament to outline how the Government plans to help consumers mitigate the impact of rising bills.
He said that DECC’s so-called Green Deal, under which home owners will be offered lower energy bills in return for making their houses more energy efficient, will reduce the severity of rising prices.