Will the draft energy bill be good news?Consumers will foot the bill for changes

22 May 2012

Wind turbine

As the government publishes its plans for investing in low-carbon power, Which? warns that the plans must give consumers value for money.

The government insists that longer term energy costs will be lower because of the proposals, although the measures proposed will raise costs for consumers in the short term. 

The government's impact assessment suggests that household energy bills could be 2.4% higher between 2016 and 2020 than they would if the reforms go through.

Over the short term these changes could add more money onto consumer bills, and Which? wants to see more evidence that the government will make every effort to ensure consumers are protected. 

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said: 'Whilst it is encouraging to hear the Energy Secretary promising that these plans will be good news for consumers we want to see more evidence and the small print before we can judge whether this will work for all of us who are expected to foot the bill.'

Draft energy bill proposals

Among other things, the Department of Energy and Climate Change is proposing 'Contracts for Difference' - incentives for companies to invest money in low carbon generation. 

Richard Lloyd said: 'Contracts for Difference could see potential savings for consumers but the government must be honest about the cost that this investment will involve.'

Which? is also calling for a more thorough reform of the energy retail market to make sure that it works for consumers. At the moment consumers are facing rising energy prices and are confused by complex energy tariffs and bills. Which? is currently campaigning for more affordable energy for everyone in the UK. 

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