Which? calls for an immediate government review into soaring energy costs
The consumer group Which? has called for urgent government intervention into rising energy prices.
Which? has found that expensive energy bills are at the top of its consumers’ financial concerns and with good reason: the average energy bill has risen by 13% since last year, with British Gas, Scottish Power and Npower all having increased their customer’s costs within the last week.
On 17th October 2011, Which? held an energy summit with the British government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and energy suppliers. It intended to discuss and find solutions for the rising costs for consumers, yet a year after, Which? feels little has been done to prevent the harsh financial hit people will face this winter.
Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, has publicly written to David Cameron calling for immediate intervention: “We are calling on you to launch an urgent, expert, independent review into the rising cost of domestic energy bills and whether competition among energy suppliers can be made to work more effectively in the consumer interest.”
Senior members of the cabinet have arranged to discuss a new Energy Bill in the upcoming weeks. Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg will meet with the chief secretary to the Treasury and with the energy secretary, to discuss a way to keep costs down.
It is thought that Conservative Chancellor George Osborne wants more gas-fired power stations to be built, whilst subsidies for renewable energy sources are reduced.
The Lib Dems are thought to disagree, believing the UK cannot depart from its legally-binding climate change targets. Instead they believe gas power is a good short-term solution, but for the long-term it is vital the UK continues its use of renewable energy to keep costs down in the future.