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Huhne’s Green Agenda Will Hike Up Energy Bills, Fuel Poverty

Downing Street advisers have told the government that if it’s proposed green energy policies will add £300 a year to the average household’s fuel bills.

The coalition’s reforms would increase household energy bills by about 32%

A report by the Prime Minister’s senior energy adviser Ben Moxham and leaked to the Daily Telegraph, pours scorn on claims made by energy secretary Chris Huhne that a 30% rise in gas, electricity and oil prices by 2020 will be offset by people using less power.

Even the energy secretary’s department has admitted that the projected 30% rise in prices over the next nine years is a “mid-case scenario” and energy bills could rise by considerably more.

Two months ago, researchers at Cambridge University calculated that the coalition’s reforms would increase household energy bills by an average of 32%. Mr. Huhne dismissed the calculations as “rubbish”.

In a letter to the prime minister, Moxham – a former BP executive – labelled Chris Huhne’s claims that huge price increases would be offset by energy efficiency measures and lower consumer consumption as “unconvincing”.

“The report of energy bills increasing by up to 30% over the next decade could be the last straw for many consumers,” said Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com.

“And with winter approaching, the worrying news is that our research shows that once the most recent round of price hikes have kicked in, almost a staggering seven million British households could be left shivering under the spectre of fuel poverty.”

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has previously estimated that for every 1% increase in gas and electricity bills, a further 40,000 UK households are plunged into fuel poverty.

On the basis of the BERR’s calculations, as price rises have added 12% onto the average energy bill since April 2011, an extra 480,000 people have been pushed into fuel poverty, says uSwitch.com.

Consumer Choices, 7 September 2011