Millions of hard-pressed families were today told that an extra £3 a week on their energy bills would be a “reasonable price” to pay for more wind farms and nuclear power stations.
Lib-Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced a major Coalition deal to pay for a construction programme in the biggest reforms to the energy market for decades. Critics claim that the legislation will send bills soaring.
The Government will put £7.6 billion towards “green” power generation in 2020 — up from £2.35 billion this year.
Today’s deal was the subject of major wrangling in the Coalition. Mr Davey wanted clean energy and limits on carbon emissions, while Chancellor George Osborne supported new gas power plants and tax relief for shale gas exploration in the UK.
There were reports today that bills will rise by up to £178 a year over the next two decades because of the new green policies. But Mr Davey insisted that support for low-carbon electricity will add less than £100 to the average household’s annual bills.
He said: “The impact from supporting green policy is only two per cent on people’s bills at the moment. By 2020 it will be about seven per cent. We are talking about less than £100 in 2020.”
Mr Davey said the impact of other government measures, such as initiatives to encourage energy efficiency, will result in a £94 overall saving on household power bills by 2020.