It’s time for the Government to turn its attention to energy consumers
Thursday 14th July 2011
This week, energy secretary
Chris Huhne outlined a radical reform of the electricity market, coinciding
with the publication of the Government’s Electricity
Market Reform (EMR) White Paper.
The paper, “Planning
our electric future: a White Paper for secure, affordable and low-carbon
electricity” looks to set out key measures to attract investment, reduce
the impact on consumer bills, and create a secure mix of electricity sources.
Huhne’s speech primarily focused on long-term investment and measures to build
a cleaner, more sustainable energy future, my interest was on how the reforms
‘reduce the impact on consumer bills’.
Telegraph’s headline presents a stark warning that “Britain
must get used to price rises on fuel bills or face blackouts”. But
according to the Department of
Energy and Climate Change, introducing the reforms will help to mitigate energy
price rises in the future, as leaving the current system in place would cost
households £200 a year, compared to £160 under the reforms.
thing is clear; the EMR won’t stop a rise in energy prices. And this could be a bitter pill for the
nation to follow, on the back of price rises from British Gas and Scottish
£110bn of investment in new power stations and energy networks may well ensure
a platform for Britain to build a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. But
with reports abound in the media of fuel poverty and imminent price rises from more
energy providers, Huhne’s announcement may do little to appease the public.
time for the Government to turn its attention to energy consumers. Working with
energy providers, it needs to support households and assist in their bid to
reduce the impact of high energy bills. The Government has set out clear goals and
targets to build a sustainable, low carbon economy. Ensuring consumer buy-in
will be essential.
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