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Energy efficiency plans unveiled in Queen’s Speech

Government 'should go further on energy bills'

Couple looking at their energy bill

You could save hundreds of pounds on your energy bill by switching supplier

Plans to help households become more energy efficient were set out in today’s Queen’s Speech.

During the eight minute speech, the Queen said new legislation would be introduced to ‘improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses, to promote low carbon energy production and to secure energy supplies’.

While the details need to be fully thrashed out, the Bill will principally aim to promote and deliver energy efficiency measures – including the roll-out of and a ‘pay as you save’ scheme offering loans to homes installing green technology or better insulation.

Fairer energy bills?

The Bill may also contain rules compelling energy companies to provide more information on customer energy bills – something – to ensure ‘fair’ access to energy supplies. ‘Fair competition’ in the energy market will also potentially be addressed. 

The creation of a ‘green bank’ designed to support investment in low carbon projects and rules to regulate carbon emissions from coal power stations could also be included.

Energy plans ‘should go further’

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says: ‘We’re glad the government recognises the need to tackle issues such as security of supply and the lack of competition in the energy market, as well as giving consumers more control of their bills.

‘Plans to improve bills are a step in the right direction but could go further. Including the name of the cheapest available tariff on every bill looks good on paper, but means little unless it’s backed up with a guarantee that it will still be the cheapest rate by the time the consumer switches tariffs.’

Our contains practical advice on energy efficiency projects: installing wall insulation, loft insulation, wind turbine and solar panels, and top tips on buying energy-saving products.

More from the Queen’s Speech

We’ve got more coverage on today’s announcements, including news that:

  • state pensions will rise in line with earnings from April 2011 as part of a new Pensions and Savings Bill;
  • almost a million people who lost their savings in the Equitable Life scandal will be paid compensation;
  • more powers will be given to the Bank of England to oversee regulation of the UK’s banking system.

Lower your gas and electricity bills

You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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