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Energy law: Government reveals Energy Bill with mixed reaction

The Energy Secretary Ed Davey yesterday unveiled the Government's strategy for energy security for the next generation.

The Energy Bill revealed yesterday was announced in last month's Queen's speech, and is purportedly designed to ensure that UK homes and businesses receive an uninterrupted power supply to 2030 and beyond, whilst attempting to meet strict targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The bill includes a range of measures designed to induce inward investment into energy infrastructure, with the UK thought to need over £100bn to keep the lights on in the coming decades.

It is estimated that the impact of the legislation will see domestic fuel bills rise by around £100 per annum by 2030.

The move has drawn criticism from some energy providers, who claim that the bill's focus is wrong and could ultimately cost consumers millions in wasted investment on the wrong technologies.

However, the Energy Secretary defended the bill, saying that criticism from the industry players was a sign that they had maintained their impartiality and not bowed to lobbying pressure from firms with vested interests.

"In this business there are lots of vested interests and some of them want a particular approach because it suits them best," he told the Telegraph.

"Bill-payers should be worried," Mr Davey said, if the proposals had pleased everyone in the industry.

The Energy Bill aims to raise external investment by creating a structure for long-term contracts funded by consumers to repay the high upfront costs of building new nuclear-power facilities and off-shore wind farms.

Labour leader Ed Miliband supports the funding of new nuclear-power stations, but criticised the Government for not doing more to protect value for consumers.

"Consumers need to know they're getting a good deal. I'm afraid what the Government has done so far is resist our plans to break up the way the big six energy companies work, to try and get prices to be better for consumers, and bring lower tariffs for the elderly. Yes, let's get the investment in but let's also get a better deal for consumers," he said.

Sources:

Industry criticism of draft Energy Bill 'shows reforms are right', says Energy Secretary Edward Davey (The Telegraph)

Government defends energy reforms (Google News, Press Association)