Greg Barker: Energy suppliers’ price hikes ‘unwelcome’

The price hikes for gas and electricity is “very unwelcome” but the Government is taking action to help households. That’s the view of Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The price hikes for gas and electricity is “very unwelcome” but the Government is taking action to help households.

That’s the view of Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker responding to British Gas and npower’s announcements last week about a rise in their gas and electricity bills. It follows SSE’s plans earlier this year for a 9% increase which kicks in today.

Mr Barker said: “This is very unwelcome and I know lots of families who are struggling to balance their budgets will be very disappointed and concerned by these price rises. That’s why Government is taking action on a number of fronts: short-term measures to help people struggling with bills this winter, long-term measures to reform the market and bring in more competition.

“What we need is action. We are bringing in the Energy Bill this winter that will reform the markets, it will be the biggest shake-up since privatisation, in addition, we are giving extra teeth to the regulator Ofgem.”

The Government will also be rolling out the Green Deal this winter, which Barker claims is the “biggest” and “most ambitious” energy efficiency programme in Europe. It is expected to help people insulate their homes and cut energy bills.

He added the Warm Home Discount, which he claims will provide support to around two million people a year, will help cut £130 off energy bills for more than a million low income pensioners this winter.