Huhne defends UK energy prices

Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, is expected to set out plans tomorrow to encourage low-carbon energy generation techniques. Speaking on the Andrew Marr show yesterday he defended the Government’s plans for […]

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By Tom Gibson

Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, is expected to set out plans tomorrow to encourage low-carbon energy generation techniques. Speaking on the Andrew Marr show yesterday he defended the Government’s plans for market reform by claiming that the UK had in actual fact some of the cheapest energy prices in Europe.

Mr Huhne refused to believe the UK would be dealing with the highest energy prices in Europe: “It’s absolute nonsense- we have some of the lowest prices in Europe. The country with the lowest energy prices in Europe happens to be France because it doesn’t rely on oil and gas from very volatile parts of the world- over 80% comes from renewables and nuclear.”

He said changes would affect our reliance on imported fossil fuels:”There is one thing an energy minister in the UK can not do, and that is control events in the Middle East. If we want to get out from under the volatility of these world markets the best way we can do it is to save energy, make our bills much less sensitive to world market prices and get on to clean, secure, green energy sources, which don’t bounce around.”

The Electricity Market Reform White Paper is expected to offer financial incentives to low-carbon generators, guaranteeing a fixed price.

The Energy Secretary also claimed that policies such as the coalition’s ‘Green Deal’ would help those most likely to be affected by steep rises: “For the most vulnerable households, we’re putting the current discount schemes, which are voluntary for the Big Six, on a statuary basis, which means pensioners will get a £120 discount. Essentially we’re raising the amount of public money going to those in fuel poverty by two thirds.”