Wind farm contracts that could lead to higher energy bills should be re-written to protect consumers, an MP has said. David Cameron’s official spokesman said that re-examining the terms of the lucrative contracts is “the right thing to do”.
A report by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday disclosed that households across the country face seeing their bills rise after deals worth £17 billion were agreed with energy firms delivering wind-generated power.
Under the contracts, which were agreed by Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, during the last government, but implemented by the Coalition, energy companies are guaranteed an RPI inflation-linked income for 20 years even if they fail to deliver energy to households.
MPs on the PAC accused ministers of failing to learn lessons from failed private finance initiatives and said the costs from the wind farm contracts would now be passed on to consumers.
Ofgem, the energy watchdog, has said it will in future “refine the tender process to deliver greater efficiencies and further benefits to consumers”.
David Cameron’s official spokesman said that re-examining the terms of the lucrative contracts is “the right thing to do”.
If the cost of the latest energy deals is passed on in full to all households equally it would amount to an extra £35 per year for the next two decades.
Christopher Heaton-Harris, the Conservative MP for Daventry, called on the Government to go further and see if the contracts can be now be re-written to get “better value for energy consumers”.
“Following the publication of the PAC report, perhaps now is the time to see if we can legally amend these contracts to get better value for energy consumers,” Mr Heaton-Harris said.
The criticism emerged as ministers invited wind-farm companies to help draft a new strategy to expand the industry.
Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, and Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, want wind turbine manufacturers, developers, and wind-farm maintenance companies to have “a core role” in “shaping” the coalition’s offshore wind industrial strategy.