Announcement

The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP statement following British Gas price announcement

08 July 2011 Responding to this morning’s price announcement by British Gas, Energy and Climate Change Secretary The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP …

08 July 2011

Responding to this morning’s price announcement by British Gas, Energy and Climate Change Secretary The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP said:

“This announcement will be tough for consumers who are already struggling to meet their bills. The uncomfortable truth is Britain’s consumers are being buffeted by the violent and unpredictable winds of global fossil fuel prices.

“I refuse to stand by and watch this happen.

“I’m pushing the big six suppliers to help their customers overhaul their draughty homes and understand the best tariffs on offer, and I’m backing new entrants to bring more competition to the market.

“But there’s a way out of this. Look at how the French benefit from only relying on fossil fuels for a fraction of their power - bills there are only expected to rise by 3% this year.

“The UK electricity market has to change, so that we escape the cycle of fossil fuel addiction. Alternatives like renewables and nuclear power must be allowed to become the dominant component of our energy mix.

“Only radical reform now will give us the best chance in the long run of keeping the lights on at a price that doesn’t wreck our economy over and over again.”


Notes for editors

  1. Next week The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP will publish a White Paper on Electricity Market Reform, a critical moment in keeping the lights on, consumer bills down and shifting the UK economy away from a high risk, high carbon future.

  2. DECC Ministers have taken a number of other recent steps aimed at ensuring consumers get a better deal:

7 July 2011: The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP and Charles Hendry held a small suppliers summit to discuss barriers to new competition in the market

29 June 2011: The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP wrote an open letter to energy suppliers calling for improved billing to help households move to the best tariffs available

22 June 2011: The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP backed Ofgem’s proposals to overhaul the retail gas and electricity markets

17 June 2011: The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP highlighted the energy savings still available for homes that are not properly insulated

13 June 2011: Charles Hendry announced that red tape will be slashed for small suppliers to help them compete with established energy companies

2 June 2011: Greg Barker set out consumer protection measures as part of Green Deal legislation

10 May 2011: The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP announced minimum energy efficiency standards for the private rented sector as part of Green Deal legislation

14 April 2011: The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP announced the reopening of the Warm Front scheme, to help 90,000 more low income householders including pensioners cut their energy bills

21 September 2010: The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP warns energy companies not to block changes to give energy consumers 30 days advance notice of bills

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