Amber Rudd: cheap and clean energy without subsidies on the way

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said the government is working towards balancing the need for cheap energy, the imperative to cut carbon and the necessity of secure energy supplies. At the […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said the government is working towards balancing the need for cheap energy, the imperative to cut carbon and the necessity of secure energy supplies.

At the conservative conference in Manchester Ms Rudd added the Tories energy policies are for “the consumer”.

She added: “I am clear that my department is a pro-business, pro-growth department that will champion the consumer… Getting a grip to protect families from endless worry about their energy bills. First, this means providing secure supplies of electricity, oil and gas that will enable us to work through our long-term economic plan and finish the job of securing our economic future.”

In response to the labour conference last week where Shadow Energy Secretary Lisa Nandy said she wants to democratise energy, Ms Rudd said the Tories were already “delivering it”.

The Energy Secretary added: “We want to ensure that we are doing everything we can to nurture competition so that it delivers cheaper bills and better customer service. We will implement the recommendations of the Competition and Markets Authority to help ensure that we have an energy market that works for the consumer.”

She pledged householders will switch their energy suppliers in “just” 24 hours by 2018 and smart meters are being installed to help consumers control their energy consumption.

“Bills will be instant and accurate”, she added.

In order to sort out issues between customers and companies in the energy sector, Ms Rudd announced that the role of the Energy Ombudsman will be strengthened to seek out bad behaviour from firms.

She also said despite the Government’s recent decision to cut subsidies for onshore wind projects, 30% of electricity generated in the country will be from renewable sources by 2030.

“We have solar panels on three quarters of a million roofs. With solar costs continuing to fall and new innovations in battery storage, renewable energy can stand on its own two feet.”

Ms Rudd believes the way to resolve the tension between affordability security and low carbon is to discover low cost, low carbon technologies.

A future towards clean energy is not “is not longer associated with extra costs and subsidy”, she said.