Government been "hyperactive" on energy costs

The Coalition has been “hyperactive” on the issue of energy bills, Energy Secretary Ed Davey claimed today. Since last autumn, the Government has faced a strong vein of discontent over […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The Coalition has been “hyperactive” on the issue of energy bills, Energy Secretary Ed Davey claimed today.

Since last autumn, the Government has faced a strong vein of discontent over rising domestic gas and electricity prices.

Prime Minister David Cameron was prompted to announce a cut in the amount suppliers must spend on energy efficiency scheme ECO so they could reduce bills a fraction.

Today in the House of Commons, the Energy Secretary told MPs: “The Government are as concerned as anybody about energy prices, energy bills and the impact on people around our country. That is why we have been hyperactive in this area; we have done far more than the previous Government.

“I mentioned the comparisons we can now make between energy bill rises under the previous Government and under this one. As I said, gas bills went up twice as much under the previous Government, but electricity bills increased by an average of 9% in the previous Parliament whereas in this one they have increased by 4%.”

He stuck the boot into the Opposition, adding: “Labour’s record in this area was shocking.”

Earlier in the Commons his DECC colleague Greg Barker, the minister in charge of the ECO energy efficiency and Warm Homes Discount fuel poverty schemes, fielded questions about their success.

Mr Barker stoutly defended the schemes and took a pop at Labour MPs for the rising fuel poverty during their time in government.

He was quizzed by Labour MP on the plight of 4,700 families in Clifton near Nottingham who felt “anger and deep disappointment” when energy company British Gas pulled out a project to give their concrete homes external wall insulation. This followed government changes to the ECO scheme at the behest of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.

Energy Minister Greg Barker said this was “primarily a matter for British Gas” but he would look into it, adding the scheme will be enforced. He hailed improvements to the ECO scheme and its extension to 2017.