Energy on the agenda at Conservative conferenceDelegates discuss energy security and the Green Deal

03 October 2011

Picture of Charles Hendry - crown copyright

Charles Hendry said he 'never forgets who pays the bills'

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday, Charles Hendry MP and Greg Barker MP set out government plans to tackle the energy issues currently facing UK consumers.

In his speech to conference, energy minister Charles Hendry explained that his proposed changes to the power sector will be made with consumer costs in mind.

His plans included rebuilding the power sector which he confirmed should be 'at the lowest possible costs to consumers, because we never forget who pays the bills.'

Research by Which? found energy bills to be the number one financial concern for consumers, with over 89% of people confirming they are worried about rising energy prices.

Helping homeowners - Green Deal

Meanwhile, climate minister Greg Barker spoke to delegates about the Green Deal. The Green Deal will allow homeowners to pay for energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, using finance attached to their home.

Which? is working to help improve the current plans set out in the Green Deal to make sure that it gives consumers strong consumer protection, and doesn't open the door to possible mis-selling.

Cheapest energy

Mr Barker described the deal as 'the biggest home improvement scheme since the second world war.'

In an interview with Which? Conversation, Mr Barker encouraged people to make the most of schemes such as the Green Deal that will help them insulate their homes, saying 'after all, the cheapest energy is the energy we don't use.'

Affordable Energy Campaign

Which? is working to ensure that consumers spend as little as possible on energy.

We want to demystify energy tariffs, stop hidden or rip-off costs, and help consumers pay less by giving advice on energy efficiency measures.

Pete Moorey, senior campaigner at Which?, said:

'Trust in the energy companies will be vital if the Green Deal is to succeed. We therefore need the government, Ofgem and the companies to tackle tariffs and ensure that they are simple and fair. Reforming tariffs could be the first step to ensuring that there greater trust in energy companies.'

Tackling energy tariffs

During a Which? investigation, we asked 36 people to work out their energy bill using nothing but information from the supplier's website.

Our testing team included a solicitor, an engineer and an accountant. Just one - a company director – could do it.

More on this...

  • Read our interview with Greg Barker on Which? Conversation, and have your say.
  • Help us tackle confusing and unfair energy tariffs by emailing Ofgem.
  • Find out how Which? is helping you spend as little as possible on energy.