Green light for Ireland-NI electricity interconnector

Planning permission has been granted for the power link connecting Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland. The 400kv North South overhead interconnector will give NI greater access to generating power capacity in the Republic. The NI Department for Infrastructure has published the independent report prepared by the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) following a […]

Government ‘significantly underestimated’ cost of green energy schemes

Consumers could be hit with higher bills as the government has “significantly underestimated” the cost of publicly-funded energy schemes. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) looked at the Levy Control Framework (LCF), which is intended to help control the costs of three government schemes – Renewables Obligation (RO), Feed-in Tariffs and Contracts for Difference – to […]

MPs blame water regulator for high bills

Water companies made windfall gains of £1.2 billion in the last five years as a result of bills being higher than necessary. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) criticised Ofwat for “consistently overestimating” water suppliers’ financing and tax costs when setting price limits between 2010 and 2015. It said many householders will be appalled to learn […]

Consumers ‘picking up the bill’ for green energy contracts, say MPs

The UK Government’s contracts for renewable electricity generation has been “poorly conceived and managed” and does not secure best value for consumers. That’s the conclusion from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on DECC’s Contracts for Difference, which guarantees a “strike price” for electricity generated by low carbon energy, with developers now set to bid for […]

Smart meters will cut energy bills by only 2%, MPs warn

Energy customers will have to fork out £215 for the installation of smart meters that will only save them around 2% on their annual bill, MPs have warned. In a damning report published today, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) estimates the Government’s smart meter rollout – due to begin next year – will cost consumers […]

"Aren’t we missing your CEO?"

MPs were bristling yesterday after the chief executive of npower was a no-show at a hearing into how consumer bills are affected by infrastructure investment. Attending on behalf of the energy firm, Director of Policy Dr John McElroy got a hostile reception from MP Margaret Hodge who chairs the Public Accounts Committee. Ms Hodge told […]

Sellafield nuclear clean-up cost £67.5bn – and still rising

The cost of decommissioning the Sellafield nuclear site has reached £67.5 billion and there’s no indication of when it will stop rising. A new report by the Public Accounts Committee showed around £1.6 billion of public money is being spent at the site every year but is not convinced the taxpayers’ are “getting a good […]

Wind farm licensing ‘could bring higher prices’

The “skewed” way offshore wind farms are licensed could lump far more cost on our energy bills than it needs to, claims a new report from MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Ofgem’s and DECC’s new licensing regime is crucial to building more offshore wind power. DECC estimates offshore wind farms could contribute 8-15% […]

MPs concerned about ‘obvious risks’ of £12bn smart meter rollout

MPs are concerned about the “obvious risks” of the UK’s planned £11.7bn roll-out of smart meters. Government wants 53 million homes and businesses in the country to get a smart meter – which sends information between the user and the energy supplier, supposedly improving the accuracy of bills – by 2019. Yesterday MPs on the […]